Immigration Defense Externship - Fall 2017
David Stern and Whitney Elliott, 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 New York Immigration Court. Students will participate in case strategy and prepare cases for trial, including preparing affidavits, direct examination and potential cross examination. Depending on their supervising attorney’s caseloads, students may also have the opportunity to appear in Federal District Court and/or 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 undertake various tasks, which may include interviewing clients, participating in trial preparation and litigation strategy meetings, researching complex legal issues, drafting memoranda of law and appearing before the Immigration Court, and possibly before the Federal District Court and/or the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Through a comprehensive client-centered approach, students will work with one or more attorneys, and at times with social workers and/or paralegals, 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) and 2Ls. Skills in languages other than English, especially Spanish, preferred. Exposure to immigration and criminal law preferred. Please send resume and short statement of interest by e-mail to email@example.com by 5:00pm on Friday, April 7th, 2017.