Miami Law Immigration Clinic

Immigration Clinic

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Established in the fall of 2009, the Immigration Clinic provides a challenging opportunity for students to advocate on behalf of immigrants in a wide variety of complex immigration proceedings. In addition to helping individual clients, students collaborate with other immigrant rights groups on projects that reform the law and advance the cause of social justice for immigrants. The clinic is dedicated to being an integral part of the wider immigrant and human rights advocacy community in South Florida and the nation.

The clinic works on a variety of Cases, Projects and Resources including Stopping Deportations To Haiti and Resources for Detainees in Immigration Proceedings.

As the primary advocates for their clients, students gain:

  • Invaluable first-hand advocacy experience under close supervision.
  • Feedback from others and self-reflection, utilizing active learning techniques and technology that permit self-critique and peer review.
  • Development of core lawyering skills, such as interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, case planning, researching and writing, witness examination, and oral advocacy.
  • Experience working in the field of social justice lawyering, including exposure to the many different roles that social justice lawyers play as advocates.
  • An understanding of how institutional, cultural, economic, and political forces influence how immigrants are treated within our legal system.
  • The opportunity to learn about their own strengths and areas of growth and to develop a commitment to working in the public interest in accordance with their own professional values and goals.

All of the clinic's clients are in removal proceedings before immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or federal courts. Students have the primary responsibility for preparing cases from start to finish – from an initial factual investigation through to a final merits hearing in an adversarial setting. (Students do not need to be certified by the Florida Bar as certified legal interns in order to appear in court.) The clinic accepts cases of detained and non-detained immigrants on a referral basis from legal service providers and other organizations. A critical component of the class is participation in mock and moot exercises aimed at developing core abilities like interviewing, counseling, and courtroom skills.

The Immigration Clinic's classes focus on substantive law, legal ethics, and structured discussions about clinic cases while also developing lawyering skills and case strategy.

Time Commitment

  • This clinic is a two-semester, 6 credits in-house, live-client clinic.
  • Casework and supervision: Students are required to spend an average of 3-4 hours per credit per week on clinic related casework, weekly supervision and class.
  • Class Requirement: Clinic class meets for one hour and twenty minutes twice a week.

Prerequisites

Successfully Completed 32 Credits

Clinic Director

Rebecca Sharpless
Professor of Clinical Legal Education
Director, Immigration Clinic
305-284-3576, E257
rsharpless@law.miami.edu

Romy Lerner
Lecturer in Law and Practitioner-in-Residence/Supervising Attorney
(305) 284-5448, E-261
rlerner@law.miami.edu

Support Staff

Rose Dominguez
Paralegal
305-284-4542
rdominguez@law.miami.edu

Danny Vargas
Paralegal
(305) 284-8537
dvargas@law.miami.edu

Immigration Clinic: Student Perspective

2Ls Lindsey Adkin, Ross Militello, and Shireen Judeh talk about their hands-on experiences at detention centers and in the courtroom.


LATEST IN THE MEDIA

Immigration Clinic Students Halt Deportation of Torture Victim (January 21, 2014)

UM Law Students Protest Immigration Detainee Conditions in Daily Business Review (November 21, 2013)

Law School Students Help Undocumented Immigrants in the Tampa Bay Times (March 14, 2013)

Free Legal Clinics for Deferred Action Applicants in the Orlando Sentinel (March 9, 2013)

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL MEDIA AND PRESS RELEASES

IN ACTION
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See photos of the Immigration Clinic in action on Flickr.

University of Miami School of Law students call for shutdown of immigration detention in Glades County Jail

University of Miami School of Law students call for shutdown of immigration detention in Glades County Jail. Learn More

Miami Law Clinic Students Win Landmark Immigration Case

Miami Law Clinic Students Win Landmark Immigration Case

Immigration Clinic Achieves Justice for Detainee Abused on Basis of Sexual Orientation

Immigration Clinic Achieves Justice for Detainee Abused on Basis of Sexual Orientation

2Ls Adam Hoock and Dana Turjman outside Krome Detention Center After a Court Hearing

2Ls Adam Hoock and Dana Turjman outside Krome Detention Center After a Court Hearing.

2L Alanna McCoy, delivered the clinic's presentation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

2L Alanna McCoy, delivered the clinic's presentation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Learn More.