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Clinical Education at UT Law

Real Cases. Real Experience.

Transnational Worker Rights Clinic

Student Experience

“My work at the EJC and the Clinic has been the most rewarding experience of law school thus far. Aside from the practical skills I acquired, I learned that the practice of law is not nearly as terrifying as I had imagined. The best thing about the Clinic is that one is given the opportunity to have real responsibility. If you are a person who learns by doing, it is the best environment in which to gain practical experience. I would encourage any student who wants to challenge himself to take this Clinic.”

“I am beginning to understand the wider policy debate in which Americans are engaged with respect to labor and immigration rights, and which directly impacts the workers that we represent.”

“In talking to the workers, knowing about the international labor situation helps. They are very interested in comparing the U.S. system of protections to other countries. It helps them see they are not the only exploitable workforce...It is very helpful for us as students too, because seeing the global picture makes it easier to separate out the causes/motivations/effects of certain labor abuses on a discrete population”

“The case work is stressful at times, but overall a great learning experience. Thanks to the EJC staff for being so patient with all of us as we learn the ropes!”

“It's a blast. This cuts across so many fascinating topics - immigration, labor, development, politics.”

“What has been most important to me about the Clinic is that the legal work takes place in the context of a community of values. As a Clinic student, it's not just about getting back wages for this client, but about this client and myself working together because of a shared vision of what we want our city, our respective nations, and our global system of justice to become.”

“I really like linking the domestic and international issues and am learning how the national and international context affects the lives of migrant workers in Austin.”

“As the son of a Mexican immigrant, I am well aware of the opportunity that the US provides for transnational laborers. As a result of this opportunity I grew up in a privileged environment in comparison with my father's upbringing. I am happy to give back. It has been a fantastic experience, I'm glad I was a part of it. I plan to stick around for as long as I can through the summer or next fall to see some of these cases through.”

“The Transnational Workers Rights Clinic has definitely improved my understandings of the plight of low wage immigrant workers. Many times I have been standing in line in a bank or store and come across immigrants who cannot cash their checks because bank accounts have been closed or because of insufficient funds. Everyone who sees this feels concern for these immigrants, but the general consensus seems to be that there is nothing they can do because they are undocumented. I know now that these assumptions are false, and have shared this information with many people, including those who hire immigrants thinking that they will be able to exploit them. The client contact and actually working on real cases, rather than reading about them in books, is an invaluable experience that every law student should have.”

“The clinic and the EJC put me back in touch with a side of me that had been neglected since I became a law student. When I was an undergrad, I was consistently involved with social/political issues, and always on the “liberal” side, if you will. Law school really killed that, perhaps because I was expecting something else from it. Essentially, I became indifferent to those things which used to motivate me. The clinic placed me in a situation which stirred inside of me that thing which I had lost. In a way, I felt useful again. And so I go on, with a renewed sense of why I wanted to come here to begin with.”