Roger Williams University School of Law continues to blaze an impressive trail. The Providence Journal reports that the school celebrated the launch of a new Immigration Law Clinic on Wednesday that aims to provide legal aid to immigrants who would otherwise have none, and train a new generation of immigration lawyers. Professor Mary Holper, the clinic’s director, is supervising an inaugural class of 10 students who started last month. Holper is an experienced clinical director from Boston College Law School, with nearly a decade of immigration-intensive experience.
“I couldn’t be more excited about adding the Immigration Clinic to our clinical offerings,” said Professor Andrew Horwitz, RWU Law’s director of clinical programs. “The field of immigration law is dynamic and ever-changing and the legal needs of the immigrant community are vast and largely unmet. We will be providing a sorely needed service to Rhode Island’s low income immigrant population while at the same time providing our students with a top-notch educational experience in a burgeoning field of law.”
According to the law school, law student participation in the Immigration Clinic will consist of several components, including:
- Direct Client Representation. Students will represent non-citizens (detained and otherwise) in their applications for relief from removal before the Immigration Court in Boston. They will argue bond motions for detained clients, conduct direct examination of witnesses, raise evidentiary objections and argue points of law.
- Case Preparation. Students will research and write motions and memoranda of law, gather documents in support of applications for relief from removal, interview witnesses, draft affidavits and research human rights issues in the countries of removal. Students will also prepare applications for benefits and represent non-citizens in their interviews for such benefits before the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) office.
- Community Outreach. Students will conduct “Know Your Rights” presentations for immigrant communities in Rhode Island and for non-citizens who are detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Bristol County House of Corrections in North Dartmouth, Mass.
- Classroom Instruction. Each week, students will participate in exercises designed to develop their lawyering and trial skills while enhancing their understanding of the lawyer’s role in the process handling substantive, ethical and policy issues.