Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Immigration Law Clinic - FAQs


What are the student casework responsibilities?

Students will be primarily responsible for their cases from beginning to end. During the case intake stage, they will conduct in-depth interviews of the potential clients and learn effective techniques for interviewing and counseling.

Once representation begins, students will apply the facts to the law and assess possible legal options. They will participate in case strategy discussions and prepare their case for filing with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as sharpen their writing skills and learn the importance of attention to detail in completing immigration applications.

What are the hour requirements for students working in the Clinic?

Students are expected to work about 17 hours per week at the Clinic. This includes two hours of classroom time, case supervision, client work, community work and other Clinic duties. Students are required to have regular office hours at the Clinic and must be available for community outreach work one day per semester.

Students with extensive job or externship responsibilities with inflexible work schedules will need special permission by the Clinic Professor to enroll in the clinic. Because the weekly hour requirement may vary due to case demands, students must have flexible schedules. They are expected to work the necessary hours to complete their case assignments - which may involve evenings, weekends or holidays. Students must be willing to travel to local social service agencies and high schools to meet the community outreach requirement.

What is the community outreach component?

Clinic students will give presentations on immigration-related issues to social service providers and community groups. Students will create the presentations and materials, and offer an opportunity to ask questions about their particular immigration situation.

How are cases referred to the Clinic?

Cases are referred to the Immigration Law Clinic from non-profit organizations and social service providers. Individuals may call the Immigration Law Clinic Intake Line at (213) 738-5574 for a case intake screening.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for the Clinic, students must be in good academic standing and have completed their first year of study. The Immigration Clinic does not require prerequisite courses, but does recommend Immigration Law, Evidence, Children and the Law, and Legal Profession prior to or concurrent with enrollment.

How do students apply for the Clinic?

Interested students must submit an Immigration Law Clinic application and resume to Professor Andrea Ramos. The Clinic will give preference to third- and fourth-year students who have not had prior in-house clinic experience and to students with immigration, public interest and other work or volunteer experience. Fluency in a relevant language other than English is preferred, but not required. Selection will not be based on academic rank.

When does the class meet?

The class meets on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. The classroom component will focus on substantive and procedural law, professional responsibility and development of advocacy skills.