The Immigrant Rights Clinic, the newest of the Rutgers–Newark clinics, serves the local and national immigrant population through a combination of individual client representation and broader advocacy projects. The IRC is a one-semester clinic; however, the type of work engaged in by the fall semester IRC students differs significantly from the type of work engaged in by the spring semester IRC students.
Students enrolled in the IRC in the fall semesters engage in individual client representation. Under faculty supervision, students represent immigrants seeking various forms of relief from removal, including asylum for persecuted individuals; protection for victims of human trafficking; protection for battered immigrants; protection for victims of certain types of crimes; protection for abused, abandoned, or neglected immigrant children; and cancellation of removal. Students are responsible for all aspects of representing their clients, including interviewing and counseling, preparing witnesses, engaging in fact investigation, conducting legal research, drafting litigation documents (such as affidavits, briefs, and evidence packets), and oral advocacy. Ideally, each team of students represents its client at an immigration hearing at the end of the semester. In the fall semesters, the weekly seminar class focuses on substantive humanitarian immigration law and live client lawyering skills.
Students enrolled in the IRC in the spring semesters engage in broader advocacy projects on behalf of organizational clients, primarily immigrant rights organizations. The subject matter of the advocacy projects varies from year to year, but might include detention conditions, due process concerns, access to counsel, family reunification, conditions of supervision, consequences of criminal convictions, or enforcement issues. The final products of the projects also vary and might include toolkits for practitioners, research reports, white papers for legal services organizations, amicus briefs, or pro se materials for litigants. Working in teams, students build professional relationships with government and nongovernmental policymakers, academics, individual immigrants, public interest organizations, and others. Under faculty supervision, students have primary responsibility for making project-related decisions, conducting necessary factual and legal research, and implementing their decisions. In the spring semesters, the weekly seminar class focuses on substantive immigration law and policy and advocacy skills.
In both semesters, students attend rounds sessions and team meetings in addition to the weekly seminar class.
For information on recent IRC publications and events, please click here.