Immigration

What Makes a Citizen?

At NYU Law, immigration has long been a focus for advocacy and scholarship. For more than a decade, the Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) has been a leading institution in both local and national struggles for immigrant rights, and many of its alumni now specialize in immigration law. Co-taught by Alina Das ’05 and Nancy Morawetz ’81, the clinic engages students in direct legal representation of immigrants and community organizations in litigation at the agency, federal court, and where necessary Supreme Court level, and in immigrant rights campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Each student, along with a student partner, will typically have the opportunity to represent either an individual or a set of individuals in litigation as well as a community or advocacy organization in a campaign. Students have direct responsibility for these cases and the opportunity to build their understanding of legal practice and the field of immigrant rights law and organizing.

In addition to the IRC, NYU Law also offers a range of courses pertaining to the field, including Immigration Law; Immigration Penalties and Crimes; Refugee and Asylum Law Seminar; and Immigration Federalism and Community Policing Seminar. Students also have the opportunity to take the Immigrant Defense Clinic, co-taught by attorneys from the Legal Aid Society.

Student groups, including the Anti-Trafficking Advocacy Coalition, the Immigrant Rights Project, and the International Refugee Assistance Project, provide additional opportunities outside of the classroom.




Course Spotlight

Immigration Penalties and Crimes, taught by Alina Das ’05, focuses on the connection between the immigration and criminal law systems; the immigration penalties that noncitizens face as a result of criminal arrests and convictions; and immigration-related criminal offenses.

Student Voices

Jehan Laner ’15 says that the Immigrant Rights Clinic was one of her greatest experiences in law school. Find out more about Laner and other students at the View from Washington Square.