The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

Main menu:

Spring 2011 - Immigration

Gilman, Denise L
Hines, Barbara

Credit Hours: 3 (Pass/Fail)  Course ID: 397C  Unique # 29715

Meeting Day(s)TimeLocation
TTH3:30 - 5:00 pmTNH 3.115
Exams:  None
Registration Information
This course is restricted to upper division students only.
You must take at least one the following classes concurrently:
29810 - Immigration
Clinic - APPLICATION REQUIRED. Application and/or instructions on how to apply for this clinic can be accessed on the web: http://www.utexas.edu/law/sao/academics/apps.html.
** This course meets the Professional Skills requirement for graduation.

Description
Students must register for Law 397C and 397D, for a total of six credits.

Student attorneys in the Immigration Clinic provide crucial representation to vulnerable low-income immigrants.  Through legal representation of clients and participation in the classroom component of the clinic, students learn substantive immigration law, practice important legal advocacy techniques and explore models for ethical, responsible and effective lawyering.

The Immigration Clinic's caseload is diverse and illustrates the breadth of immigration practice.  For example, students represent asylum applicants fleeing persecution in their home countries, long term permanent residents and other immigrants facing deportation and U.S.  citizens born abroad to U.S.  citizen parents whose status has not been recognized by immigration authorities.  The clinic has handled cases for clients from all over the world, including Mexico, Central America, Eritrea, Guinea, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.  An important component of the clinic's caseload involves work at the T.  Don Hutto Detention Center in nearby Taylor, Texas.  The controversial facility previously held families and now holds women immigrants who are seeking asylum.  Student attorneys seek release of the women detainees and provide representation throughout their cases in some circumstances.

Student attorneys in the clinic take on primary responsibility for their cases, with guidance and mentoring from the clinic faculty.  Each semester, the clinic's student attorneys conduct a range of lawyering activities including:  client interviewing, development of case strategy, brief writing, preparation of witnesses, and presentation of cases before the courts and the immigration agency.  Some of the clinic's cases are handled administratively before the Department of Homeland Security and involve an interview process while other cases require full trials in the immigration courts, including admission of evidence, witness examination and closing arguments.  Yet other cases involve appellate brief writing and legal argument before the federal and immigration courts.  The Immigration Clinic advocates on broader immigration issues and policy as well.

The Immigration Clinic meets for class two times per week for an hour and a half.  Grading is on a pass/fail basis for this six-credit hour clinic.  There is no final exam or paper.  Students should expect to spend 10-20 hours per week on Clinic work, including class time and office hours.  Students will occasionally travel to the Hutto facility and to San Antonio where the Immigration Court and the offices of the Department of Homeland Security are located.

Students are encouraged to apply for the clinic during early registration as enrollment is limited and faculty permission is required to register.  Students should submit an application, available on the Clinic's website, by the end of the early registration period.  The application questionnaire should be returned to the clinic's administrator, Sonja Hartley, by e-mail at shartley@law.utexas.edu or by hand to the clinic office at CCJ 1.310.  Students may request to be placed on a waiting list if space is unavailable during registration.

For more information about the Immigration Clinic, contact Barbara Hines at 232- 1310 or Denise Gilman at 232-7796, or by e-mail at bhines@law.utexas.edu or dgilman@law.utexas.edu.  We also invite you to visit the Clinic offices.

Related Course Areas