The Immigration Clinic was established in 1998. Its purpose is to give students an intensive, year-long experience working in-depth on immigration cases on behalf of low-income clients in need of legal assistance. Because of the nature of the work and the clientele, and the amount of time students will devote to the Clinic, students interested in the Immigration Clinic must apply and go through an application process. The application process usually occurs in February of each year. Students applying to participate in the Immigration Clinic must commit to being in the Clinic from the May after their second year until May of the year in which they graduate. The types of cases handled by students vary with the needs of the clientele, but generally include such matters as family-based immigrant cases, deportation defense, asylum cases (both affirmative and defensive), Special Immigrant Juvenile visa cases, post-conviction claims based on failure of defense counsel to advise of immigration consequences of criminal proceedings, and other like matters. Although they will inherit an ongoing caseload, students in the Immigration Clinic have a fair amount of discretion in deciding what types of new cases to take, and will have some flexibility to tailor those types of cases to their areas of interest.
“The Immigration Clinic was by far the best experience of my law school career. Professor Ruser really allowed me to take the reins and make the experience my own. He allowed me to select cases that aligned with my interests and he pushed me to develop case strategies independently, which enabled me to garner a more in-depth understanding of the law. Ultimately, my clinical experience helped define my career path. I wanted to practice immigration law in Lincoln, and, following graduation, that meant starting up my own solo practice. Because of my Immigration Clinic experience, I had the skills and confidence needed to hit the ground running.”
Amanda M. CivicClass of 2012
“The Immigration Clinic is one of the most comprehensive experiences Nebraska Law offers. During my year as a student attorney, I was able to experience the rigor of the real practice of law. Through the representation of my clients, I was able to learn how to interview clients, draft pleadings and briefs for State and Immigration Court, pick up the phone and talk to opposing counsel to reduce the number of contested issues to be argued at the hearing. I was able to appear in various County and District Courts throughout Nebraska and in Immigration Court. But most importantly, Immigration Clinic taught me the most valuable lesson I learned in law school -- how to be a good attorney. In Immigration Clinic I learned that in order to be a good attorney, in addition to having a thorough understanding of the law, one must have humanity, be perseverant, and always be willing to be creative within the bounds of law.”
Roxana Cortesclass of 2016
“The Immigration Clinic provided me with hands-on experiences that equipped me with the skills I need going into the legal profession -- skills that cannot be acquired in the classroom alone. I not only gained experience in the immigration world, but learned a great deal about how to be an ethical legal representative. Working with diverse clients, each with a different story and legal need, provided me with a variety of practical experiences that prepared me for post-graduation. I feel confident going into the legal profession after being exposed to so many cases and working on them directly.”
Kendra Haackclass of 2016