Removal Defense Clinic



The Removal Defense Clinic is designed to train students to represent low-income immigrants in immigration removal proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, including matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services where applicable.

The clinic will focus its removal practice to cases in immigration court that involve the following forms of immigration relief: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Relief Under the Convention Against Torture, and Cancellation of Removal.

Under the close supervision of Professor Julia Vazquez and Kathy Khommarath, students will engage in all aspects of the immigration case. This can include, but is not limited to, the following exercises when applicable: client interviewing; drafting declarations; country condition research; finding, developing, and working with expert witnesses; appearances in immigration court; cross- and direct-examination; opening and closing statements; presenting evidence before the court; and motion and brief research and writing.

In addition to direct client representation, the Clinic will also include a course lecture component, held once per week for two hours at Southwestern Law School.

The seminar will focus on substantive and procedural law, professional responsibility, theoretical frameworks, and development of advocacy skills. Students will also be required to engaged in 7.5 clinic hours per week, which will be completed in the Southwestern Legal Clinic, in addition to the time required to complete assignments related to client representation.

Students will be expected to complete an aggregate of 10.5 hours per week on Clinic activities (including class time, reading time, client meetings, case work, faculty case supervision, office hours, field clinic hours, and other aspects of the course as needed) and must be flexible with the hour requirement in order to be responsive to client and case demands.

Students who have taken this course for one year will have the opportunity to also take an advanced-level course that will allow them to continue working on the cases that they started during their first semester in the clinic.