Immigration Clinic Director Geoffrey Hoffman and Clinical Supervising Fellow Veronica Bernal speak about the status of immigration on Latina Voices. To see the interview, click here.
Immigration Clinic Director Geoffrey Hoffman, Clinical Assistant Professor Janet Beck and Clinical Supervising Attorney Josephine Sorgwe.
THE IMMIGRATION CLINIC specializes in handling applications for asylum on behalf of victims of torture and persecution, in representing immigrants who have been the victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and crime, and children and those fleeing civil war, genocide or political repression. Students also give presentations to outside organizations that deal with Immigrant Issues and give individual assistance to immigrants held in immigration detention centers.
Clinic students are assigned a variety of immigration cases. Under close faculty supervision, they are responsible for handling the cases from the initial interview through the conclusion of the case, including trial, if needed.
The Immigration Practice Clinic has a classroom component that meets for two hours a week for 14 weeks over the course of the semester. The classroom component provides students with an understanding of the basics of asylum law, citizenship, removal defense, and laws protecting immigrant victims of human trafficking and family violence. The classroom component focuses on teaching advocacy skills and substantive immigration law to equip students to represent immigrants before the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review (the immigration courts) and other federal agencies.
The Immigration Clinic is a 4 unit graded course. NO PREREQUISITES ARE REQUIRED. Good Academic Standing only.”
All students accepted in the Immigration Practice Clinic must attend a mandatory 2 ½ day orientation held from Wednesday to Friday before the first day of school.
The Immigration Clinic also continues to develop and integrate with a legal service network, both in Texas and nationally, that provides our clients with greater expertise, our students with role models and career opportunities, and our faculty with the opportunity to develop and display increased expertise and prominence.
An example of this network is our partnership with the legal aid organization, TexasLawHelp, a project of the Texas Access to Justice Commission and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.
Click on the following link to TEXAS LAW HELP: www.TexasLawHelp.org
As part of their Orientation, Immigration Clinic students, under the supervision of Janet Beck, observed immigration court hearings presided over by Immigration Judge Clarease Rankin Yates. Judge Yates also spoke with the students about what she expects of an attorney in her courtroom, shared her legal career trajectory and answered students' questions. Judge Yates presides over asylum, cancellation of removal and adjustment of status to permanent resident cases among others. She has spoken with many of our Immigration Clinic students over the years. Meeting with her and observing her hearings has always been extremely helpful to our students when they prepare to represent Immigration Clinic clients in immigration court.
Judge Yates began her legal career in the office of Philadelphia's district attorney. In 1980 she accepted a post as an attorney with the United States International Trade Commission. She then served as senior legislative analyst for the District of Columbia. In 1986 she was appointed an administrative law judge.In 1990 Judge Yates was appointed to a judgeship with the immigration court in Houston, Texas, thus becoming the first African-American immigration judge in the United States.