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Citizenship and Immigration
Gina DelChiaro, a recent graduate of the law school.

Prof. Gemma Solimene
Clinical Associate Professor of Law
Immigrant Rights

THOUSANDS OF NON-CITIZENS FACE REMOVAL and permanent separation from their families every year under current immigration laws and policies. This is partly a result of of an expanding interconnection between criminal and immigration systems -- where even a conviction for a misdemeanor many years in the past can lead to detention, deportation, and permanent exile for someone despite having a significant history of lawful permanent residence in the United States. As a clinic student, you will engage in practical lawyering on cases and matters affecting individuals, families, and their entitlements in the United States.

The Immigrant Rights Clinic ("IRC") provides you with an opportunity to provide direct legal representation to individuals in a range of immigration matters. In doing so, you are able to respond to a vital need for quality representation for indigent non-citizens who are facing deportation and/or seeking legal status in the United States before federal immigration authorities or the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. You may also have an opportunity to work on litigation and advocacy projects in collaboration with community organizations.

Students in the IRC generally work with a student partner over the course of the semester. The team will assume direct responsibility for all aspects of their client cases and engage in a full range of lawyering skills. This may include client and witness interviewing, legal research and writing, fact investigation and development, counseling, affidavit drafting, motion practice, advocacy, production of evidence, witness preparation and trial work. Examples of the types of cases the IRC handles include asylum, deportation defense of individuals with lengthy periods of legal status facing deportation following a criminal conviction, and seeking immigration status for victims of domestic violence and other crimes, as well as abused and/or orphaned children.