Reflections on Drafting My First Mandamus Memo


I feel like my clinic partner, Jon and I conquered Goliath. Okay, not really, but I do feel like we managed to cover a lot of ground in our mandamus memo. As part of our clinic work, we were tasked with engaging in legal research and preparing a memorandum on an overview of mandamus in preparation for drafting a complaint on behalf of our client. Looking back on our work, I think we created something highly useful for our client’s case and for the clinic. I’m extremely grateful for my partner’s collaboration and his willingness to roll with the punches. As we collaborated, we would text each other little questions about the research, talk through difficult areas, and read over each other’s sections and provide comments. All of those things are sort of run-of-the-mill collaboration. But another thing that was crucial to this process was just giving each other words of encouragement and little reassurances that we are on the right track. I also learned ways that I can improve as a collaborator, such as the importance of providing additional support when things become difficult. I think we should both be proud of the work we put in and the product we created.

During their spring 2021 quarter with the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Miye D’Oench, JD ’22, and her clinic partner represented a native of Mexico who had an immigrant visa petition pending for almost 4 years. Miye and her partner conducted legal research and drafted a federal mandumus petition to compel the government to adjudicate the visa petition. Students also advocated with the Department of Homeland Security and a local Congressional office. Due to the students’ efforts, USCIS approved the petition, and their client is now eligible for permanent residency.