Section Description Provided by Instructor
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 work on removal cases pending before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, an agency which includes the New York Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Students will participate in case strategy and prepare cases for trial, including preparing affidavits, direct examination and potential cross examination. Depending on their supervising attorneys’ caseloads, students may also have the opportunity to appear before the New York Immigration Court.
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. 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 prepare each client’s case.
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 and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as 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, 2Ls and LLM students. Skills in languages other than English, especially Spanish, preferred. Exposure to immigration and criminal law preferred.