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Student FAQs

The Immigration Practice Clinic (IPC) focuses on humanitarian immigration cases which includes asylum, u – visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases, Violence Against Women Act protections and as needed for some of our clients – naturalization. The IPC also focuses on appellate and amicus advocacy before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Circuit Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. The caseload varies from semester to semester and is based on the referrals and needs of local nonprofit organizations.
The clinic is three credit hours, which requires participation in the IPC boot camp the weekend before classes start; weekly seminar classes; and weekly supervision meetings.
The clinic is one semester with the option to take Advanced Clinic for a second semester for 2 credits with no seminar component. 3Ls are given priority in registering for the clinic.
There are no detention facilities near or close to Tennessee. The closest detention facility is in Oakdale, Louisiana. While the clinic does not do detention work, Assistant Dean for Public Interest Dean Spring Miller started a project during the 2017-18 academic year with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Southeastern Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) where students work on bond motions – collecting evidence and writing briefs – for pro bono hours. The students were trained at the beginning of the academic year and would volunteer for projects that SPLC SIFI forwarded to us and would work on the cases remotely. In addition, this year, for one of the volunteer/pro bono spring break trips the students went to the Stewart detention facility with SPLC SIFI attorneys and volunteered for the entire week arguing bond motions.
Students are paired in teams of two or three and supervised by me throughout the semester. Students typically take one case per semester but this can vary based on where the case is in litigation.
The students are the attorneys on the case so they do not observe – they actually conduct the hearings. We typically have scheduling hearings (master calendar hearings) telephonically and students represent their clients in other hearings in person in Memphis. Students this year traveled to Memphis and New Orleans to represent their clients in affirmative asylum interviews before the New Orleans asylum office.