Immigration Defense Externship
Maria Navarro and Amy Meselson, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
The Immigration Defense Externship provides students with the unique opportunity to appear before the Immigration Court, the Federal District Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on cutting edge immigration issues. Taught by practicing attorneys of The Legal Aid Society, the Immigration Defense Externship is designed to introduce students to U.S. immigration laws and policies through a combination of lecture, discussion, simulation and hands on representation of immigrants facing deportation from the United States. The focus of the Externship is the interaction between the federal immigration laws and federal and state criminal laws.
In the fieldwork placements, students will be expected to devote at least 15 hours per week. Students will interview clients, participate in trial preparation and litigation strategy meetings, research complex legal issues, draft memoranda of law and appear before the Immigration Court, and possibly before the Federal District Court. Through a comprehensive client-centered approach, students will work with a team of attorneys, social workers, paralegals and investigators to assess, research and represent each client.
The weekly seminars will complement the students’ fieldwork with a practice-oriented examination of the interaction between immigration law and criminal law. The seminars will also include trial preparation and strategy development, including developing a theory of the case. The seminars will also explore the government’s policies in this area and their impact on immigrant communities through class discussion and presentations by guest speakers from the Immigration Court, the Department of Homeland Security, and criminal defense attorneys. In the seminars, students will also have the opportunity to discuss their fieldwork, including the ethical challenges arising from client interviewing and representation.
The course is graded based on fieldwork, participation and attendance in the seminar and a 20-page paper. Minor writing credit is available.
Enrollment is limited. Open to 3Ls (preferred), 2Ls and LLMs. Foreign language skills, especially Spanish, preferred. Exposure to immigration and criminal law preferred. Please send resume and short statement of interest by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by April 13, 2015.