Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Immigration Appeals Practicum

680IA | 3.0 credits


The Immigration Appeals Practicum (IAP) is a one semester course offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. The IAP is 3 units and graded credit/no credit. Students interested in the IAP must have a demonstrated interest in immigration and appellate law, a strong academic record and proven writing ability. Students must be in the top 10-30%.

Students enrolled in the IAP work on a pro bono appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) under the supervision of an attorney from the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (MTO). IAP cases are secured through the BIA's Pro Bono Project, which was created to increase pro bono representation for individuals detained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement with immigration cases under appeal. For more information on the BIA Pro Bono Project, please visit the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) website at; click on Programs/Center for Immigrant Rights.

Students will conduct substantial legal research and draft the initial brief. Students will work with their supervising attorney to discuss research results and outline and content of the brief. This will involve a weekly in-person meeting at MTO offices and as needed conferences by telephone or in-person. The MTO supervisor will work with the student to refine and perfect the brief, and ultimately, file the brief with the BIA.

Students will be required to attend the Externship Program orientation session before starting the IAP and an orientation with Professor Ramos. In addition, students will be required to participate in "Guided Reflections" through the TWEN page in the form of online submissions and submit weekly time sheets. Professor Ramos will meet with students on a regular basis and supervise the submission of the Guided Reflections and time sheets. At the end of the IAP, students must turn in a Work Product Folder.

Interested students must submit an Immigration Appeals Practicum application, resume and writing sample to Professor Andrea Ramos. The application is available in the Legal Clinic Office (W408). Professor Ramos will schedule an interview with the student applicants.

For additional information, please contact Professor Ramos at