Immigration and Refugee Advocacy

HLS 2115
Deborah Anker
W 5:00pm-7:00pm
This seminar is for participants in the fall Immigration and Refugee Clinic and addresses substantive national and international refugee law, as well as advocacy skills relevant to students' work at the clinic. The substantive portion of the seminar will provide an overview of international and domestic refugee law. It will examine selected topics typically encountered in the course of students' casework in greater detail. Specific topics may include: The Refugee Convention and U.S. Law, 'Persecution' and the Human Rights Paradigm, Issues of Credibility and Proof, and Gender-Based Asylum Claims. The skills component of the seminar will cover such areas as effective client interviewing, affidavit writing, cross-cultural lawyering, conducting immigration and human rights research, and preparation of cases and client testimony. In order to cultivate best practices in student advocacy and deepen the clinical experience, this seminar draws heavily for instructional examples on current clinical experiences of students (their actual cases and clients). It will also allow students to connect their understanding of refugee law and lawyering skills to actual casework through consideration of specific issues of doctrine and policy implicated by students' cases. Students will have the opportunity to critically reflect on their experiences, models of advocacy, and social change. A clinical practice component is required of all students.