Academic Programs

Immigrants' Rights Clinic (IRC)

bu law clinics videos Immigrants Rights Clinic students help clients seeking asylum Clinical faculty talk immigration law

IRC represents newly arrived unaccompanied children facing deportation, refugees fleeing human rights abuses, and other vulnerable immigrants in court and administrative proceedings. Students in IRC assume primary responsibility for building their cases, just as a lawyer would—through client interviewing and counseling, factual investigation, legal research and writing, working with expert witnesses, and conducting full hearings. Students may also participate in “Know-Your-Rights” visits at local jails/detention centers.

IRC professors help students prepare for their cases through weekly class, simulation exercises, supervisory meetings, and mock hearings conducted in advance of real hearings.

IRC is taught by Professors Laila Hlass, and Sarah Sherman-Stokes. For further information, please contact the above named professors. Past clinical students are also available to provide additional information: Pete Brocker, Dena Birkenkamp, Albert Heng, Kate Lebeaux, Gabriela Morales, Drew Tobias, and  Diona Vakili.

IRC carries 12 credits during an academic year, broken into three grades. Six graded credits are provided for the field component which must be taken over both semesters, three graded credits are given for the fall pre-trial skills seminar, and three graded credits are given for the spring trial skills seminar. 

If you have not already done so, you must take Evidence during the first semester to satisfy the student practice rule.


Refugee and Asylee Adjustment Toolkit

Click here for access to the toolkit for practitioners representing refugees and asylees in pursuit of adjustment of status.

Published on behalf of the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), the “Refugee and Asylee Adjustment Toolkit” is a comprehensive resource for refugees and asylees applying for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, commonly known as a “green card,” before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The toolkit offers step-by-step guidance for practitioners, including relevant forms, statutory and regulatory authority, case law, recent developments, secondary resources and practice tips. It was prepared by BU Law's Immigrants' Rights Clinic and the Center for Immigrants' Rights at Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law. See full press release


Immigrants' Rights Faculty

Laila L. Hlass
Clinical Associate Professor of Law
B.A., Rice University
J.D., Columbia University Law School

Before coming to Boston University, Professor Hlass was a Clinical Teaching Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center, where she taught in an in-house clinic serving asylum seekers in removal proceedings. She has also supervised students in the Immigration Clinic at Loyola New Orleans University, College of Law, both as a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow.

Sarah Sherman-Stokes
Clinical Fellow
B.A., cum laude, Bates College
J.D., cum laude, Boston College Law School

Before coming to Boston University School of Law, Professor Sherman-Stokes was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Political Asylum / Immigration Representation Project (PAIR). She represented detained, non-citizens facing deportation, with a special focus on young refugees with mental illnesses.