Immigration and Refugee Advocacy

Immigration and Refugee Advocacy

Professor Deborah Anker
Fall 2013 seminar
T 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 5048
2 classroom credits

Required Clinic Component: Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (2-4 fall credits). Students must enroll in the clinic before they are permitted to enroll in this required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: Students who would like to enroll in the clinic and course for the fall semester may do so through the registration lottery. Students who are interested in participating in the full-year clinic option must submit an application to the clinic and be accepted in order to enroll.
Add/Drop Deadline: September 4, 2013.
LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic by submitting an application.

This seminar 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 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 justice.

Additionally, for 2013-2014 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 2013, 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