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Immigration law experts to provide updates on federal policy at UH Law Center’s annual asylum law seminar


Jan. 10, 2022 - Practitioners will receive guidance on the Biden Administration’s approach to immigration at the Joseph A. Vail Asylum Law Workshop, presented by the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center. The virtual program begins at 9 a.m. on Friday Jan. 28.

The event will also feature panels on asylum, withholding of removal, and the Convention Against Torture, especially as they relate to Afghan and Haitian claims. The final panel will cover expert witnesses, psychological assessments, and country conditions.

“It is my distinct honor to host the Joseph A. Vail asylum law workshop, as I have since I began as the immigration clinic director here at the UHLC in 2009,” said Geoffrey Hoffman, Director of the Immigration Clinic and a Clinical Professor. “I am most pleased to announce that former Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Paul Wickham Schmidt, has agreed to speak on our first panel. He is also a former immigration judge. His blog is at

“Also, we will have former Immigration Judge Jeffrey Chase speaking in a panel on immigration courts, in addition to a host of well-known immigration practitioners with decades of experience practicing asylum law. Former Judge Chase's blog is at”

Additional speakers include:

  • Lucas Aisenberg, a Supervising Attorney at the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic
  • Jodi Bernstein, Vice President for Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston
  • Magali Suárez Candler, Attorney, Partner and Founder of the Suárez Law Group
  • Susham Modi, Partner and Founder of The Modi Law Firm, PLLC
  • Ruby Powers, Partner and Founder of the Powers Law Group P.C.
  • Rosemary Vega, a Clinical Lecturer at the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic
  • Amanda Waterhouse, Partner and Founder of Waterhouse Dominguez & Strom, PLLC
  • Ann Webb, a J.D. and LCSW, at the UH Graduate College of Social Work.

The event is sponsored by Interfaith Ministries For Greater Houston who will present on efforts to assist and support refugees.

About the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic

The University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic was founded in 1999 by Joseph Vail, a former immigration judge and UHLC professor. The clinic has since developed into one of the largest in the nation, specializing in handling asylum applications for victims of torture and persecution, representing victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and crime, and helping those fleeing civil war, genocide or political repression, as well as those facing other immigration-related matters in federal court. Clinic students are assigned a variety of cases under direct faculty supervision and are responsible for handling initial interviews through the conclusion of the case, including trial. Students also assist organizations that serve the immigrant community and give individual assistance to those held in immigration detention centers. Since inception, the clinic has served at no cost more than 2,000 individuals who otherwise could not afford legal services. Under the leadership of Clinical Professor Geoffrey A. Hoffman, clinic director since 2009, the UH Law Center Immigration Clinic has won the Community Engagement Award, a university-wide honor, and was named “Pro Bono Hero” by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Hoffman works closely with Lucas Aisenberg, a clinical supervising attorney and Rosemary Vega, a clinical lecturer, in teaching students to handle all aspects of their pro bono, family-based cases.

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