Immigrants’ Rights Clinic


Students in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic have full responsibility for defending clients against deportation in San Francisco Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the federal courts of appeals. As part of that work, students write complex legal briefs, argue cases, conduct fact investigation, interview witnesses and clients, and represent clients in mini-trials. Students also engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy in partnership with local and national immigrants’ rights organizations.

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IRC Students Successfully Represent Asylum Seeker

Immigrants' Rights Clinic Student Reflects on Zealous Advocacy and Thoughtful Lawyering

Madison Villarreal, ’24, and Cristian Pleters Escobar, ’24, represented D, a young woman from Ethiopia seeking asylum after experiencing persecution due to her ethnic identity. Working closely with D, Madison and Cristian prepared an oral Motion to Terminate D’s immigration proceedings. They counseled D on what to expect at the hearing and what different outcomes might mean for her. At the hearing, Madison and Cristian were counsel of record and made the oral motion to terminate D’s proceedings. The Immigration Judge was persuaded by their arguments and granted the motion. Because of their successful advocacy, D is no longer in deportation proceedings and can pursue asylum without the constant threat of removal looming over her.


IRC Students Reflect on Their First Court Hearing


Students Lauryn Bennett, ’24, and Ari Berman, ’24 represented a family from Venezuela seeking political asylum. Lauryn and Ari conducted multiple client interviews, drafted complex legal research memos, and prepared to represent their clients at their hearing. Ari and Lauryn reflect on their experience representing their clients at their preliminary immigration hearing.



IRC Students Represent Longtime Bay Area Resident In Deportation Case

Charlotte Finegold, ’24, and Erin Sifre, ’24, represented L, a citizen of Vietnam who has been a Bay Area resident since he was a toddler. L was ordered deported years ago because of a single criminal conviction from over 20 years ago. Charlotte and Erin extensively researched the laws governing L’s removal and motions to reopen long-closed cases like L’s. They also regularly met with L to understand the facts of his case. Through their research and fact-gathering, Charlotte and Erin identified two creative and independent grounds for reopening and terminating L’s case. Charlotte and Erin then quickly drafted a persuasive Motion to Reopen and Terminate L’s proceedings and worked closely with L to develop a 100+ page evidentiary record. Charlotte and Erin negotiated with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) before filing the final Motion and evidentiary record with the Immigration Court.



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