WESTERN STATE IMMIGRATION CLINIC
Founded in 2011, the Western State Immigration Clinic is a five-credit, one-semester course that seeks to provide students with hands-on skills training while responding to the pressing needs of immigrants in Orange County. Under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Lee Koh, students represent immigrants who cannot otherwise afford legal representation before Citizenship and Immigration Services and in Immigration Court. Each student, along with a partner, serves as the client’s primary representative. Under faculty supervision, they interview the clients, investigate and gather facts, research the relevant law, draft briefs and affidavits, file applications for relief and supporting documentation, and represent clients in immigration interviews and in court. The Clinic also collaborates with community-based organizations to protect and promote the rights of noncitizens in Orange County. In addition to their casework, students attend a weekly two-hour seminar focusing on lawyering skills and substantive immigration law.
As the primary advocates for their clients, students gain experience that translates into many areas of legal practice, including the following:
- First-hand legal advocacy, under the direct supervision of an experienced faculty member.
- Feedback from others and self-reflection, through the use of techniques and technology that encourage self-critique and peer review.
- Practical lawyering skills, such as interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, case planning, legal research and writing, witness examination, and oral advocacy.
- The opportunity to learn about their strengths and areas of growth, and a chance to develop their own professional values and goals.
Course requirements. Students must have successfully completed, or be concurrently enrolled in, the following three courses: Professional Responsibility, Evidence, and Civil Procedure.
Application process. Students must apply to the Immigration Clinic and may enroll with the permission of the instructor only. For an application, please email Professor Jennifer Lee Koh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case referrals. The Clinic accepts cases on a referral basis from legal service providers and other organizations. Unfortunately, the limited resources of the Clinic do not allow it to function as a general provider of legal services, or research and investigate problems that come to our attention, no matter how legitimate they may be.
The Immigration Clinic is not an attorney referral service. For a list of attorneys and/or information about agencies that assist with legal matters at a reduced or low cost rate, please contact the following organizations:
The State Bar of California or call 1 866 442.2529
American Immigration Lawyers Association's Immigration Lawyer Search or call 1 800 954.0254
For more information about the Western State Immigration Clinic, please contact Prof. Jennifer Koh, Director, at email@example.com.