445.01 Immigrant Rights Clinic

The Immigrant Rights Clinic engages students in the direct representation of noncitizens and community organizations in litigation, community outreach, and policy advocacy.  Students will work in teams to represent individual clients in litigation matters, such as removal proceedings in immigration court, administrative or federal appeals, or other legal claims, as well as work with community-based organizations in advocacy projects or outreach and education campaigns. Through a mix of individual and organizational representation, students will develop an integrated approach to promoting the rights of immigrants. Direct representation of individual clients will require students to develop skills in fact-development, client interviewing, affidavit drafting, expert opinion development, testimony preparation, legal briefing, and case planning that combines client narratives with long-term appellate strategies.  In working with organizational clients and partners, students will learn to gather data and produce policy reports; develop accessible legal resources for immigrant families and their allies; and collaborate with grassroots organizers, policy-makers, pro bono counsel teams, and national advocacy groups.

Students are directly responsible for these cases and take the leading role in defining advocacy goals and strategies with their clients.  Through the clinic, students can build their litigation skills and develop a better understanding of how to engage in immigrant rights campaigns. The Immigrant Rights Clinic will combine a substantive weekly seminar, case work, and weekly case supervision and instruction meetings. It will be a one-semester course offered in both the fall and spring semesters and students will have an Advanced Clinic option. For the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, we expect that the seminar component of the Clinic will be available in person for those students who wish to attend.  To the greatest extent possible, our work with clients and with each other will be in person.  For students who either elect not to return to Durham or who are not able to participate in the Clinic on an in person basis, you will still be able to participate fully in the Clinic, just on a remote basis.

Clinics Enrollment Policy

This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting. International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Community Enterprise Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

Special Notes:


Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

Any ethics course (Law 237, Law 238, Law 239, Law 317, or Law 539).  Either Crimmigration Law or Immigration Law & Policy is highly recommended. Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Administrative Law are also helpful but not required.


Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Live-client representation and case management
Class participation
Kate Evans, Shane Ellison
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.445.01.Sp21
Email list: LAW.445.01.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice