Immigration and Refugee Advocacy: Clinical Seminar

Immigration and Refugee Advocacy: Clinical Seminar

Ms. Sabrineh Ardalan
Spring 2013 seminar
W 5:00pm - 7:00pm in Lewis Room 302
2 classroom credits

Co-requisite Clinic: Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (2-4 Spring credits). Class and clinic enrollment is bundled. Enrollment in one component (e.g. class) will automatically enroll you in the other component (e.g. clinic).
Early Add/Drop Deadline: January 18, 2013.
LLM Students: This clinic is open to LLM students through an application process.

This seminar is attended by all participants in the Immigration and Refugee Clinical 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 example s 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 also have an opportunity to critically reflect on their experiences, models of advocacy, and social change. A clinical practice component is required of all students.

Additionally, for 2012-2013 HIRC will accept two students to participate in the clinic for the entire year – Fall and Spring terms. Students will be selected through an application process in March 2012, and will attend the seminar and participate in the clinic in Fall semester and then continue with the clinic during the Spring semester working on more advanced immigration and asylum issues, including direct representation, amicus briefs, and/or policy and advocacy. Please email Bonnie Rubrecht ( for information regarding this option and the application process.

Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law, Procedure & Practice, Human Rights