Alumni Reflections

Immigrants’ Rights Clinic alumni share their views on what they learned from their clinic experience.

Alumni Quotes 9

“The highlight of my IRC experience was the immigration trial in my client’s cancellation of removal case. We won, which was an incomparable feeling. But the experience of standing with my client and zealously representing her while she faced the prospect of deportation was also tremendously rewarding. This was a turning point in my decision to become a public interest lawyer.”

—Benjamin Good, JD ‘13
Brennan First Amendment fellow at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
Brooklyn, NY

Alumni Quotes 8

“Learning from Jayashri in the clinic was one of the highlights of my law school experience.  To this day I have vivid memories of spending a night at the border with a group of legal observers.  The clinical experience helped me develop the legal and policy skills necessary to be an effective advocate, and instilled in me a passion for immigration law — an area in which I continue to research, write, teach and advocate now as a law professor.”

—Christopher Walker, JD ‘06
Assistant Professor of Law
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Columbus, Ohio

Alumni Quotes 7

“Participating in the IRC was by far the highlight of my time in law school. Not only do you get an incredible amount of personalized training and feedback from the professors, but you get the satisfaction of knowing that your work is having a real and immediate impact on someone’s life. I still think about my client and about how lucky I was to have worked with her and gotten to know her.”

—Nikki Marquez, JD ‘15
Fellow at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
San Francisco, CA


Alumni Quotes

“The highlight of my Immigrants’ Rights Clinic experience was appearing in Immigration Court — my first court appearance ever — to argue why removal proceedings against my client should be terminated.  No trip to the podium since has been as nerve-wracking as that one; and having done it once, I was eager to do it again.”

—Brian Goldman, JD ’10
Attorney in the Supreme Court & Appellate Practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
San Francisco, CA

Alumni Quotes 4

“The highlight of my time with the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic was undoubtedly appearing with my client in immigration court to present her (successful!) claim for relief from removal. But in addition to that experience – my first opportunity for oral advocacy on behalf of a client – I gained so many practical skills that I now use every day in my legal practice. These range from basic skills like how to maintain a file and how to interact with a client to skills that I continue to work on seven years later, such as how to write persuasively with a specific decision-maker in mind.”

—Kavita Narayan, JD ’08
Deputy County Counsel, Impact Litigation and Social Justice Section, Office of the County Counsel, County of Santa Clara
San Francisco, CA


Alumni Quotes 3

“The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic gave me tools to translate a client’s interests into legal objectives, legal objectives into legal strategy, legal strategy into concrete tasks, and tasks into the day’s work. I look to my Clinic experience any time I tackle a new legal problem.”

—Katie Austin, JD ’13
Litigation Associate at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
New York City, NY


Alumni Quotes 1

“The absolute highlight of my clinic experience was getting our LPR client’s case dismissed on a joint motion to terminate because the government attorney agreed with us that the government had not upheld its burden to prove he was removable–it was an amazing feeling, and one that you can’t get anywhere in law school except a clinic. The skill(s) that I use the most from clinic in my full-time immigration attorney job are the organizational skills Jayashri drills into her students. [H]aving those with me from IRC was a Godsend.”

—Atenas Burrola
Equal Justice Works justice AmeriCorps Fellow with Legal Services of Southern Piedmont
Charlotte, NC.

Alumni Quotes 6

“The highlight of my Immigrants’ Rights Clinic experience was feeling like our Clinic team was able to positively impact our client’s life in a meaningful and lasting way. Through the course of a challenging cancellation of removal case, I not only honed valuable legal skills — including legal research and writing and preparing for witness and client interviews — but was also left feeling like I made a difference through my time in the Clinic, which has continued to drive my involvement in pro bono immigration work since my graduation from SLS.”

—Marcus Perkins, JD ‘12
Associate at Haynes and Boone, LLP
Dallas, TX

Alumni Quotes 5

“Without question, I would not be the lawyer that I am today without having had the experience that I did in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Clinic helped me develop skills, experience, and confidence that I rely on every day, and I would definitely encourage every law student to enroll before leaving SLS. The best part of my experience in the clinic was building a relationship with our client. Sharing his hopes and dreams for the future and knowing that our representation was making a difference in his life were deeply rewarding.”

—Lauren Tsuji, JD ‘14
Pro Bono Fellow at DLA Piper, focusing on the firm’s Advocates Against Intimate Partner Violence signature project.
East Palo Alto, CA

IRC | Hear What Clinic Alumni Have To Say

Joelle Emerson (JD ’11)

Ling Lew (JD ’09)