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Immigrants' Rights Clinic: Clinical Coursework

The Immigrants' Rights Clinic offers students the opportunity to represent immigrants before the San Francisco Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Students in the clinic conduct mini-trials in immigration court, write motions and appellate briefs, interview clients and witnesses, investigate facts, develop case strategy, and argue cases. The Clinic represents immigrants with past criminal convictions, asylum seekers, and survivors of domestic violence. All clinic students also work on a variety of impact litigation and advocacy projects to address federal government immigration enforcement practices at the national and local levels, including impact litigation to challenge prolonged immigration detention, local and state advocacy to limit enforcement activity by police, the creation of model pleadings and know your rights materials for immigrant detainees, and advocacy with the federal agencies that regulate immigration. No prior substantive experience or background in immigration or immigrants' rights work is necessary. Special Instructions: General Structure of Clinical Courses - - The Law School's clinical courses are offered on a full-time basis for 12 credits. This allows students to immerse themselves in the professional experience without the need to balance clinical projects with other classes, exams and papers. Students enrolled in a clinic are not permitted to enroll in any other classes, seminars, directed research or other credit-yielding activities within the Law School or University during the quarter in which they are enrolled in a clinic. Nor are they allowed to serve as teaching assistants who are expected to attend a class on a regular basis. There is a limited exception for joint degree students who are required to take specific courses each quarter and who would be foreclosed from ever taking a clinic unless allowed to co-register. These exceptions are approved on a case-by-case basis. Clinic students are expected to work in their clinical office during most business hours Monday through Friday. Students are also expected to be available by e-mail or cell phone when elsewhere during those hours. Because students have no other courses (and hence no exams or papers), the clinical quarter begins the first day of classes and runs through the final day of the examination period. Students should not plan personal travel during the Monday to Friday work week without prior authorization from the clinical supervisor. The work during a typical week in a clinic is divided into three components. First, as they are for practicing attorneys, most of the hours of any week are taken up by work on client matters or case work (this time includes meetings with instructors to discuss the work). Again, as is the case for practicing lawyers, in some weeks these responsibilities demand time above and beyond "normal business hours." Second, students will spend approximately five-to-seven hours per week preparing for and participating in weekly discussions or other group work in their individual clinic (scheduling varies by clinic). Third, over the course of the quarter each clinic student (with the exception of those enrolled in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic) is required to prepare for and attend approximately five inter-clinic group sessions. Students will be awarded three separate grades for their clinical quarter, each reflecting four credits. The three grades are broken into the following categories: clinical practice; clinical methods; and clinical coursework. Grading is pursuant to the H/P system. Enrollment in a clinic is binding; once selected into a clinic to which he or she has applied, a student may not later drop the course except in limited and exceptional cases. Requests for withdrawal are processed through the formal petition and clinical faculty review process described in the clinic policy document posted on the SLS website. Students may not enroll in any clinic (full-time or advanced) which would result in them earning more than 27 clinical credits during their law school career. The rules described here do not apply to advanced clinics for students who are continuing with a clinic in which they were previously enrolled. For information about advanced clinics, please see the course descriptions for those courses. For more information about clinic enrollment and operations, please see the clinic policy document posted on the SLS website. Elements used in grading: Attendance and participation in class, case and project work and writing assignments. Writing (W) credit is for students entering prior to Autumn 2012.

2014-2015 Autumn
09/22/2014 - 11/21/2014
2014-2015 Spring
03/30/2015 - 05/29/2015

Instructors for this course

Jayashri Srikantiah
Lisa Weissman-Ward