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UH IMMIGRATION CLINIC RECOGNIZED BY AILA FOR ITS PRO BONO SERVICE

Courtesy of the UH Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center’s immigration clinic has been selected as the 2015 American Immigration
Lawyers Association (AILA) Pro Bono Hero for the Central Region. AILA is a national association of attorneys and
law professors that recognizes individuals and organizations from across the country that promotes or contributes
to services for the public good. In a written statement the AILA said it is glad to distinguish the UH Law Center
immigration clinic as a Pro Bono Hero for their exemplary role in support of pro bono and access to justice.

Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Clinic Geoffrey Hoffman said “It is a great honor for
the UHLC immigration clinic to accept this prestigious pro bono hero award.”

UHLC immigration clinic serves communities not only in Houston, but throughout Texas, encouraging law students
and private attorneys to consider pro bono practice. The clinic offers multiple training as well as workshops
annually to help educate the immigration bar and the legal community.

“We are proud to be a source of knowledge and guidance for pro bono attorneys, and also applaud the work of
our dedicated law students who have worked so hard on cases helping immigrant communities,” said Hoffman.

UH IMMIGRATION CLINIC’S EFFORTS AT KARNES RESULTS IN 3 FAMILIES RELEASED ON BOND

In early October 2014, the director, faculty members, and several students of the Law Center’s Immigration
Clinic traveled to Karnes Family Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas, as part of a joint project with the
American Immigration Lawyers Association, the law firms of Arnold and Porter and Akin Gump, and the social
service agency Tahirih. They saw more than 40 families who were being detained at the facility and screened
cases for the Karnes Pro Bono Project.

Following the trip, the clinic accepted three cases related to persecution and bond. Students gained valuable
experience preparing their cases, and presenting arguments before a San Antonio immigration judge. Ultimately,
the clients were granted their release on bonds.

After those two victories, Professor Janet Beck and 2L students Marah Friesen and Ariana Hamilton argued
before a judge in a similar situation. In this case, they convinced the judge to make a ruling setting a precedent
in the South Texas district.

                                                     Professor Geoffrey
                                                     Hoffman discusses his
                                                     experience and exam-
                                                     ines the current state
                                                     of family detention at
                                                     the Karnes facility in a
                                                     blog, tinyurl.com/
                                                     mxh3zfr

UH Law Center | Clinical Legal Education Program  CLINICS AT A GLANCE | Volume 2, Number 1  5
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