Immigration & Human Rights Law Courses

Immigration law covers the administrative and regulatory framework of this country’s immigration laws, as well as deportation, naturalization, and citizenship. Human rights law is the body of international law that is designed to protect human rights at both the international and domestic level. Please note that some courses are not offered every year.

Human Rights Law Courses

4 credits

This course is about civil and criminal enforcement of constitutional rights and other federal rights against government officials. The primary focus is on civil rights litigation in federal courts against state officials under the civil rights statutes passed in the wake of the civil war, including 42 U.S.C. ? ?1983, 1981, 1982 and 1985 on the civil side and 18, U.S.C. ?? 242 and 249 on the criminal side. The criminal segment of the course will be taught by an Assistant United States Attorney in charge of the Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit and the Civil Rights Enforcement Team in the District of Massachusetts. Criminal issues include prosecutions of police officers for violating the civil rights of arrestees and hate crimes. On the civil side, we will examine the rights that give rise to civil rights action and, to a lesser extent, the scope of those rights. The kinds of cases include police brutality, unlawful searches and seizures and discrimination in government jobs. The issues that arise include many statutory questions, such as identification of proper parties to 1983 actions, and judge-make defenses, such as official and state immunities from damages actions and injunctive suits. We will also look at federalism and eleventh amendment limitations on congressional power and federal court remedial power in 1983 actions, although coverage of these issues will not be as thorough as in Federal Courts. The standards for holding local governments liable for damages will also be examined. Our major foray into the substance of constitutional rights will be with regard to the role of state remedies and defendant's state of mind for fourteenth amendment procedural due process violations. We will also look at substantive constitutional rights such as police brutality, medical care for prisoners and detainees, high speed police chases and other similar areas. There will also be some coverage of remedies against federal officials directly under the constitution and remedies against private individuals for civil rights violations. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 877 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 5th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue,Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 4 Jack M. BeermannStaff

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. In this seminar, students will further develop their trial advocacy and client counseling skills by participating in multiple simulations and a mock hearing. They will learn about comparative models to address human trafficking, and the challenges of a criminal justice framework to solving complex social problems. The course will focus on the lawyer's role in anti-trafficking work, given: (1) converging areas of law; (2) the emerging multi-disciplinary nature of legal work; and (3) tensions among the role of the client as both victim and defendant. Courses will focus on further developing students' competencies in the following areas: (1) strategic planning and decision-making; (2) client interviewing and counseling; (3) trial advocacy; (4) leadership and innovation; and (5) professional responsibility. Classes will focus on a wide range of topics, including: (1) oral advocacy; (2) direct and cross examination; (3) accompaniment and survivor-led advocacy; (4) legal advocacy and brief writing; (4) legislative advocacy; and (5) developing professional roles and self-care. NOTE: The Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 817 A1 , Jan 15th to Apr 23rd 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Julie A. Dahlstrom

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the International and Human Rights Clinic. This is the companion spring classroom component for students in the Clinic. The course focuses on further developing skills directly tied to students' ongoing fieldwork. Classes will cover: interviewing and counseling institutional (non-governmental organizations) clients; designing and implementing human rights field research; ethical pitfalls and professional 'best practices' in human rights collaborations with international networks; advocacy within the UN machinery; advocacy within selected regional human rights mechanisms; and in-depth research workshops using comparative and foreign human rights research problems. The classes will be a combination of readings and discussion; simulations; student presentations; short papers and case rounds to discuss project work; and group and individual feedback on project development. NOTE: The International Human Rights Clinic counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 843 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Susan M. AkramStaff

3 credits

This is an introductory course to international human rights. The course will introduce students to the concepts of human rights, and the instruments that have codified and provided content to those concepts in the last sixty years. We will examine such questions as: Is there such a thing as human rights law? What standards, mechanisms, monitoring or enforcement machinery exists to make human rights concepts "legal"? Is there such a thing as universal consensus on human rights, or are the concepts relative from one region to the next? What, if any, constraints does human rights law place on the actions of sovereign states? How does the UN machinery operate in human rights law-making, monitoring and enforcement? What is the role of regional organizations, domestic courts and international entities in developing, promoting and implementing human rights norms? The course will take a contextualized approach using cases and current situations to address these questions primarily from a human rights perspective. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 10 JD students. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 991 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Thu 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 TBA

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the International and Human Rights Clinic. Students in the Clinic work on human rights projects such as: working with NGO's in advocacy in the UN human rights system or in regional organs (e.g. Inter-American and European human rights bodies); filing briefs on human rights law issues in US domestic courts; counseling individual clients with human rights claims and without recourse within a domestic jurisdiction. While the nature of the fieldwork varies from year to year, the clinic has previously partnered with domestic and international NGOs on the Guantanamo cases, habeas cases, and Alien Tort Claims Act cases; drafted submissions to UN treaty bodies; and worked on the health and human rights aspects of humanitarian crises. Students conduct legal and factual research, conduct outreach to partners and project strategy development, and may prepare amicus briefs on human rights issues and appeals in human rights cases. The clinic fieldwork may include international travel. In the fall, students attend a weekly course, arranged in accordance with the students' schedules, to gain a structured introduction to human rights practitioners' work. NOTE: The International Human Rights Clinic count towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 975 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 5th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Susan M. AkramStaff
SPRG 2019: LAW JD 975 A1 , Jan 14th to Apr 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
ARR TBD TBD 3 Susan M. AkramStaff

2 credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students enrolled in the Pro Bono Scholars Program: Fieldwork course. Students work with a faculty supervisor in designing their own reading list, writing a 15-20 page research paper, and submitting seven 4-6 page bi-weekly journals. COREQUISITE: NY Pro Bono Scholars Program: Fieldwork (JD 743).

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 744 A1 , Mar 4th to May 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
ARR TBD TBD 2

10 credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Clinical and Experiential Programs Office to enroll. Through the Pro Bono Scholars Program, students spend their spring 3L semester working full-time for credit at a government agency or non-profit providing direct legal services to indigent clients. Participating students sit for the February New York bar exam, and begin their fieldwork the week after. Students passing the bar exam and completing other NY bar and BU Law graduation requirements are admitted to the NY bar in late-June. NOTE: Students who enroll in this program may count the credits toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: NY Pro Bono Scholars Program: Directed Study (JD 744).

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 743 A1 , Mar 4th to May 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
ARR TBD TBD 10

3 credits

Public interest legal practice takes many forms. It can involve government agencies, non-profit organizations, private law firms doing pro bono work, public defender's office, labor unions, and inter-governmental organizations, among others. It can take the form of litigation, transactional work, policy-related work, or legislative advocacy. Also, attorneys adopt varied models of public interest lawyering, including approaches known as community lawyering, cause lawyering, and movement lawyering. This seminar engages through readings, guest speakers, and class discussion to examine the various approaches to public interest lawyering. Students will explore how to define the "public interest" and learn different models for public interest lawyering. Students also will gain familiarity with the different substantive areas of public interest law, organizational settings for public interest practice, and modes of public interest advocacy. Many class sessions will include a guest faculty member or a guest attorney who will present a sample of their public interest work in connection with class themes. There will also be time dedicated to discussing speaker presentations. Students will be required to submit short reaction papers to the readings and presentations and perform an in-class oral presentation based on class themes. NOTE: This class does not satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 875 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Julie A. DahlstromCarolyn G. Goodwin

3 credits

This seminar will explore issues relating to race, gender, sexuality, and crime. How does the historical context of race and gender relations in this country impact what we criminalize, or how we enforce the law? Can thinking about race and crime help us think about gender and crime, and sexuality and crime? Are these even appropriate considerations in a "post-racial" and "sex-equal" society? To answer these and other questions, this seminar will examine various criminal law and criminal procedure issues - from racial profiling to prosecutorial discretion, from domestic violence to rape, from hate crimes to gay and trans "panic" defenses, from mass incarceration to capital punishment as well as race-based and gender-based critiques of these issues. The goal of the seminar is two-fold. One, to provide students a deeper understanding of criminal law and criminal procedure issues, putting such issues in historical context. Two, to provide students an opportunity to challenge - critically and collegially - ingrained and sometimes invalid assumptions about race, gender, sexuality, and crime. NOTE: This seminar does not satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

Immigration Law Courses

3 credits

In this seminar, we will examine constitutional questions concerning (1) the acquisition and loss of citizenship status, and (2) the privilege or right of entry into the United States. Specific topics will include birthright citizenship, derivative citizenship, immigration, naturalization, expatriation, denationalization, denaturalization, and citizenship in the United States territories. Throughout, we will consider the extent to which constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process apply in the fields of citizenship and immigration law. For example, is racial profiling permissible in the administration of our immigration laws? We will also examine how structural constitutional principles -- federalism and separation of powers -- shape American citizenship and immigration law. For example, did President Obama have the authority to issue the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" Executive Order, or does the Constitution require congressional approval for such policies? What role may state (as opposed to federal) officials play in the enforcement of our immigration laws? Although our readings will primarily focus citizenship and immigration in the United States, we will also draw on comparative and international law materials. Options for satisfying the writing requirement include one longer paper or three medium-length papers. A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 714 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 18th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Thu 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 3 Kristin Collins

3 credits

This course will provide an overview of business immigration law, with a particular focus on how various federal administrative agencies are engaged in shaping a complex, multidisciplinary immigration law ecosystem for employers. In addition to a substantive overview of nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications throughout the course, we will explore how immigration laws are informed by, and overlap with, other key areas such as corporate and securities law, employment and labor law and tax law. Topics will include entity formation of new businesses; visa challenges in entrepreneurship; immigration obstacles faced by multinational businesses; immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions; the intersection of business immigration with employment laws; enforcement trends targeted at employers; and the role of the IRS and tax laws in business immigration. We will also briefly review administrative law basics, explore the parameters of executive power in shaping business immigration law, and examine the plenary power of the President over immigration. Throughout the course, we will discuss how debates about outsourcing, unemployment and national security, among others, inform a complex national discussion about business immigration. We will also identify, examine and discuss core professional responsibility issues that arise in business immigration practice. There are no prerequisites for this course. There is no writing requirement, but there will be weekly quizzes and a final examination. Class attendance and participation are essential.

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 807 A1 , Jan 14th to Apr 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 6:30 pm 7:55 pm 3 Douglas Hauer

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. In this seminar, students will further develop their trial advocacy and client counseling skills by participating in multiple simulations and a mock hearing. They will learn about comparative models to address human trafficking, and the challenges of a criminal justice framework to solving complex social problems. The course will focus on the lawyer's role in anti-trafficking work, given: (1) converging areas of law; (2) the emerging multi-disciplinary nature of legal work; and (3) tensions among the role of the client as both victim and defendant. Courses will focus on further developing students' competencies in the following areas: (1) strategic planning and decision-making; (2) client interviewing and counseling; (3) trial advocacy; (4) leadership and innovation; and (5) professional responsibility. Classes will focus on a wide range of topics, including: (1) oral advocacy; (2) direct and cross examination; (3) accompaniment and survivor-led advocacy; (4) legal advocacy and brief writing; (4) legislative advocacy; and (5) developing professional roles and self-care. NOTE: The Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 817 A1 , Jan 15th to Apr 23rd 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Tue 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Julie A. Dahlstrom

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. Students have three fieldwork options: (1) concentration in immigrants' rights; (2) concentration in human trafficking; or (3) work on both types of cases. Students focusing on immigrants' rights will represent adult and children asylum seekers and other vulnerable noncitizens with the opportunity to litigate an immigration case in the Boston Immigration Court. Students focusing on anti-trafficking work will represent survivors of labor and sex trafficking in a wide range of civil matters and engage in policy-related work to address gaps in the local and national landscape. Students focusing on both immigrants' rights and human trafficking will represent immigrant clients and survivors of human trafficking in a range of civil matters. All students will have the opportunity to engage in immigrants' rights and human trafficking work through "Know-Your-Rights" visits at the local jail/detention center and by conducting intake at the Family Justice Center for human trafficking survivors. Students, working in pairs, assume the primary responsibility for multiple clients' complex cases, from start to finish. Students conduct client interviews, track down witnesses, speak with experts, develop documentary, testimonial and expert evidence, and write legal briefs. The clinical supervisors prepare students for their cases through weekly supervision meetings, mid-semester and final individual meetings, and mock hearings, as appropriate. NOTE: The Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. PRE/CO-REQUISITE: Evidence. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 859 A1 , Sep 4th to Dec 6th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
ARR TBD TBD 3 Julie A. DahlstromSarah R. Sherman-Stokes
SPRG 2019: LAW JD 859 A1 , Jan 15th to Apr 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
ARR TBD TBD 3 Julie A. DahlstromSarah R. Sherman-Stokes

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. The seminar is the fall companion course for students enrolled in the Program. It provides a practice-oriented introduction to advocacy on behalf of indigent clients, including noncitizens and survivors of human trafficking. Students will develop a wide range of competencies with classes focusing topics including: (1) client interviewing and counseling; (2) case planning; (3) legal research and writing; (4) cultural competency; (5) legal story-telling and developing a theory of the case; (6) affidavit writing; (7) vicarious and secondary trauma; and (8) professional responsibility. Students will participate in class simulations, present in case rounds, and actively engage in facilitated discussions. There also will be two boot camp classes for students with specialized training in the following areas: (1) immigration law with a focus on asylum law and representing vulnerable noncitizens; and (2) human trafficking law with a focus on the protection framework in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and multi-disciplinary lawyering. NOTE: The Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 882 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 5th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Julie A. DahlstromSarah R. Sherman-Stokes

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program. In this seminar, students will further develop their trial advocacy skills by participating in multiple mock hearings and portions of simulated trials. In particular, this course will focus on developing students' competencies in the following topics: (1) witness preparation, including working with lay and expert witnesses; (2) oral advocacy, including direct/cross examination and opening and closing statements; (3) factual and legal research; (4) cross-cultural lawyering and implicit bias; (5) legal advocacy and brief writing; (6) basic negotiation; and (7) developing professional roles and identities. Students will also be introduced to the intersections between criminal and immigration law, and to law and organizing in the immigration context. NOTE: The Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program counts toward the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2019: LAW JD 888 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2019
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes

3 credits

This class will cover the immigration laws of the United States, including the administrative and regulatory framework of the United States agencies charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws. The topics covered by this course include the power of the Congress to regulate immigration; the effect of politics on immigration policy; nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications; the law of asylum; the intersection of immigration law and criminal law; grounds of removal from the United States; relief from deportation, immigration court representation and access to justice; and the law of naturalization and derived citizenship. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 968 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 5th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon,Wed 11:00 am 12:30 pm 3 Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes

3 credits

Previously titled Immigrants & the Law. Recent census data informs us that there are approximately 40 million immigrants living in the United States. About 11 million of these immigrants are undocumented or otherwise in the country illegally. The rest of the country remains divided on their feelings regarding the immigrant population, with about half believing that immigrants "strengthen the country because of their hard work and talent, while 41% [believe them to be] a burden because they take jobs, health care and housing." (Information in this paragraph obtained from Most Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay, but Citizenship is More Divisive (Pew Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.), Mar. 28, 2013.) This course will investigate the life of an immigrant in American society from a legal perspective. Students will learn how immigrants, both documented and undocumented, interact with various sections of the American system. The goal is to assess various ways in which an individual's immigration status affects access to important rights and benefits accorded to citizens and analyze the legal rationale for existing limitations. We will examine these issues through the use of law review articles, court cases, existing and proposed legislation, newspaper articles, empirical studies, and governmental and private organizational position papers. Topics may include an investigation of an immigrant's access and limitations in primary and secondary education, public benefits, the court system, employment, voting, as well as modes of immigration policing by both federal immigration authorities and state police. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 16 students. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

FALL 2018: LAW JD 948 A1 , Sep 10th to Dec 3rd 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg
Mon 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Karen Pita Loor