This clinic is offered each Spring Semester.
The Community Immigration Law Placement Clinic (CILPC) is a collaborative effort between the University of Arizona Law and both private and non-profit immigration law offices and organizations. Under the supervision of experienced immigration attorneys, students gain skills either:
- Working in a law office that serves immigrants; or
- Engaging in outreach, litigation, or policy work with a non-profit organization.
To build interviewing skills and ensure that they have the chance to work directly with clients, the CILPC also incorporates a small, in-house project in which students interview and advise asylum seekers under attorney supervision.
The CILPC is neither a traditional externship nor a traditional clinic. It is a hybrid model offering the individualized experience of an externship while maintaining the group experience of a traditional clinic. Students have the chance to pursue their own interests and learning goals while also learning about the range of work and challenges in the field of immigration law from their peers and a small group of mentor attorneys.
The College of Law holds weekly classes and assigns and develops materials to introduce students to basic lawyering concepts and assist with skills development. The College also integrates mentor attorneys in classes, exposing students to different approaches to lawyering; to a range of career options in immigration law; and to practical, legal, and ethical challenges in the field.
Students choose from two types of field placements:
- Direct representation. Students work with experienced immigration attorneys under close supervision. They observe and engage in a range of tasks such as client interviews; legal and factual research; preparation of memoranda, pleadings and declarations; and, if permitted by the appropriate tribunals or administrative bodies, representation at agency interviews or court or administrative hearings. They are also introduced to the practical aspects of working in and managing a law office.
- Community work. Students work with local, national, or international agencies in developing and conducting legal education projects or engaging in litigation or policy work. Projects may range from a) “know-your-rights” presentations, materials, self-help workshops and/or videos to b) work on individual or class action litigation, to c) policy papers or proposals to benefit immigrant communities.
- Some field placements may provide opportunities to engage in both types of work.
The class combines on-line modules, skills exercises, and roundtable discussions to help students …
- build upon the lawyering skills they are developing in their placements;
- prepare for and learn from the in-house interviewing project; and
- increase their understanding of immigration law practice.
"The interviewing projects proved to me that I could transition my interviewing skills from journalism to a legal setting. I am so grateful for the experience and the confidence that I gained from those projects."
“I am also grateful for my placement at Goldman Immigration, P.C. I learned about asylum, work visas, and various other areas of immigration practice. What's more, the firm kept me on after my semester in the clinic and later hired me as an attorney! My career path would not have been the same without CILPC.”
~ Scott Kirker, Class of 2023
"The opportunity to interview asylees through the Community Immigration Law Placement Clinic was incredibly rewarding both professionally and personally. I gained invaluable experience conducting collaborative interviews and creating and maintaining rapport with the asylum seekers. There are certain skills that cannot be taught in a classroom setting. It was also rewarding to know I played a role in helping these individuals remain in the United States, a safe haven away from the dangers of their home country."
~ Alyssa Aguirre, Class of 2023
Lynn Marcus is director of both the Immigration Law Clinic (ILC) and the Community Immigration Law Placement Clinic (CILPC) . She launched the ILC as part of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in 1995, and continued as the ILC’s director when the University of Arizona became the program's home in 1997. Before then, Professor Marcus worked for nearly every non-profit organization in Southern Arizona that provides legal services to immigrants, initially raising grant money to monitor conditions at immigration detention facilities and to write and distribute self-help pamphlets for pro se immigrants in deportation proceedings. She has represented immigrants in immigration court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals, in federal district court, at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and before the U.S. Supreme Court. She launched the CILPC in the Fall of 2000. Professor Marcus is president of the Asylum Program of Arizona and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She also taught a refugee law seminar for twenty years. Professor Marcus graduated from NYU School of Law in 1989.