Assist immigrants, refugees, & trafficking survivors.

The Boston University School of Law Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program, launched in July 2017, combines BU Law’s nationally recognized Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and the Human Trafficking Clinic and creates an integrated new clinical program. In the Program, students learn practical legal skills while providing pro bono representation to vulnerable non-citizens facing deportation and survivors of human trafficking. Law students participate in a seminar led by experienced faculty and focus on clinical fieldwork in the areas of immigrants’ rights, human trafficking, or both. In addition to pro bono legal representation, students and Program faculty will work to increase protections available to vulnerable populations and contribute to the national policy landscape by providing new models that address emerging challenges in the immigrants’ rights and human trafficking contexts.

Hear from Students Fighting for Immigrants’ Rights and to Combat Trafficking

What did you enjoy the most about the clinic?

paredes-mario
Mario Paredes (’18)

“There is nothing more motivating than knowing that your work will have a tangible effect on someone else’s life. I think that the clinic did a great job at blending various aspects of being a lawyer including client interviewing, legal writing, research, courtroom advocacy, and community organizing.”
– Mario Paredes (’18)

“Being able to help clients make meaningful changes in their lives through the acquisition of legal status, and feeling a sense of ownership and responsibility over each case.”
– Kate Lebeaux (’15)

“Getting the chance to talk with clients and build relationships with them weekly was amazing. These are individuals who have been through so much and to be able to support them as they apply for status in the US is an incredible experience.”
– Ryan Corbett (’17)

klebeaux
Kate Lebeaux (’15)

What was your proudest achievement?

“When a Syrian family’s asylum application was granted.”
– Kate Lebeaux (’15)

“Learning that each of our clients’ T-Visa Applications were approved.”
– Brendan Evans (’15)

“When our client was compensated with back pay for the hundreds of unpaid and underpaid hours that she worked.”
– Noah Potash (’18)

How did your involvement in the clinic shape your career?

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Alex Mooradian (’15)

“I still practice immigration now, and I use the skills that I learned every day.  Most essential for me are both the advocacy skills that I use in court, and the pre-trial interviewing and client counseling work that are so essential to a positive outcome in court down the line.”
– Alex Mooradian (’15)

“It confirmed for me that I thrive in direct services lawyering. Working with clients and having them allow me to be part of their lives, if just for a short time, is an incredible experience… Working with clients shows you just how lucky you are and what an amazing tool a law degree can be and reminds you of the good that degree can achieve.”
– Ryan Corbett (’17)

Credits

Fall 

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 satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. PRE/CO-REQUISITE: Evidence. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2017: LAW JD 859 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Julie A. DahlstromSarah R. Sherman-Stokes
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 859 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
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 satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2017: LAW JD 882 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Julie A. DahlstromSarah R. Sherman-Stokes LAW 416

Spring

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 satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2018: LAW JD 817 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Julie A. Dahlstrom

OR

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 satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement and counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2018: LAW JD 888 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes

Faculty

The IRHTP is taught by:

Support our work!

Supporting the Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking program has an immediate impact on our students and on the vulnerable communities they represent. Even a small gift can make an enormous difference. To support the Program, click here and write “Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking Program” in the “Other” field.

Here are examples of how a gift could change lives:

  • A gift of $100 will fund a visit by law students to an unrepresented immigrant in detention.
  • A gift of $500 will fund law students to provide a Know Your Rights presentation in the local community.
  • A gift of $5,000 will sponsor an Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking Program event on campus to raise awareness about legal challenges faced by immigrants and survivors of human trafficking.

For more information about giving, please contact Zachary Dubin, Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations.