At NYU Law, students are encouraged to take advantage of all the Law School has to offer, from working directly with faculty on their research, to getting involved with our centers, to participating in clinics and student organizations. The Office of Career Services and the Public Interest Law Center also provide valuable resources, such as one-on-one counseling, and host well-attended events, including the Public Interest Legal Career Fair. Here are some opportunities for those specifically interested in immigration law:
Students in the Immigrant Rights Clinic engage in direct legal representation of immigrants and community organizations 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 both an individual or a set of individuals in litigation (such as a removal proceeding or appeal, detention litigation, or a civil suit) as well as a community or advocacy organization in a campaign (such as organizing a project or legislative campaign). The clinic chooses its docket in consultation with community partners and engages in work that is responsive to community needs. 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.
Immigrant Defense Clinic students collaborate with experienced attorneys in the representation of detained and non-detained indigent noncitizens, facing removal from the United States because of criminal convictions and other immigration law violations. Under current immigration law, noncitizens with old or minor criminal offenses, such as jumping a turnstile, petty larceny, or possession of marijuana, are subject to removal from the United States no matter how long they have resided in this country or how strong their family ties in the United States. Although deportation practically constitutes banishment, noncitizens in removal proceedings have no right to an attorney at government expense. Clients are screened through various projects including the Immigration Representation Project at 26 Federal Plaza, where the main immigration court in New York City is located, at immigration detention facilities located in New Jersey and in Goshen, Orange County, New York, and through referrals from community-based organizations.
The Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, founded in 1958, awards fellowships to a small group of third-year law students committed to civil liberties and offers them unique opportunities to pursue public interest careers.
The Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service promotes the practice of law in the public service sector by NYU Law graduates. Members of APALSA, BALSA, LaLSA, MELSA, MLSA, or SALSA who have proven their dedication to public service and who plan to pursue careers in public interest law are eligible.
The Latinx Rights Scholars Program provides two full-tuition scholarships on the basis of academic excellence, commitment to community service and interest in pursuing a career that promotes justice for the Latino community. The scholars are selected in a competitive process based on academic achievement, demonstrated commitment to public service, and leadership ability.
The Root-Tilden-Kern Program, established more than 50 years ago, awards full tuition to 20 scholars, who are selected for commitment to working in public service, academic merit, and leadership potential.
The Masters of Laws LLM is designed for students who wish to take full advantage of NYU’s extraordinarily wide range of course offerings and the diverse research interests of our faculty. Unlike students in the specialized LLM programs, candidates pursuing the traditional LLM degree are not limited to a specific number of classes in one field, and they have the freedom to choose courses that match their interests.