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 may 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 combines a substantive weekly seminar, case work, and weekly case supervision and instruction meetings. It is a one-semester course offered in both the fall and spring semesters and students will have an Advanced Clinic option.

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.

Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

There are two pre-/co-requisites to enroll in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Students must have taken, or concurrently enroll in, a qualifying ethics class and one of two immigration classes. For the ethics class, any course identified as fulfilling the ethics & professionalism graduation requirement can satisfy the clinic’s ethics class requirement. (e.g., Law 231, Law 237, Law 238, Law 239, Law 317, or Law 539). For the immigration class, either the two-credit Race & Immigration Policy course (Law 768)—taught in the fall—or the three-credit U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law course (Law 351)—taught in the spring—satisfies this requirement. Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Administrative Law are helpful but not required.

Fall 2022

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Live-client representation and case management
Class participation
Shane Ellison, Kate Evans
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-445-01-F22
Email list: LAW-445-01-F22@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice