12 Apr 2022
On Saturday, March 26, 2022, the University of Nebraska College of Law’s Immigration Clinic spearheaded its third annual Naturalization Clinic. Emma Franklin, ’22, and Kate Larsen, ’22, led this year’s planning efforts. Student and attorney volunteers successfully assisted 20 community members with their naturalization application forms.
Planning efforts began in late January, when organizers reached out to more than 50 non-profit organizations, posted flyers in high-traffic areas in Lincoln and Omaha and advertised digitally through social media. The Immigrant Legal Center and other non-profit organizations helped to refer potential clients to the Naturalization Clinic.
To guarantee that prospective applicants would be good naturalization candidates, Immigration Clinic students, along with several law student volunteers, pre-screened the applicants to flag any issues that could complicate their ability to naturalize. Initially, 47 individuals expressed interest in the Clinic; 36 completed the screening process; and the Clinic ultimately accepted and invited 25 to participate in the naturalization event.
The packets that participants were given at the conclusion of their meetings included completed forms, a set of “next step” instructions about what to expect and how to submit the naturalization application, and information about citizenship and naturalization classes.
The participants were overwhelmingly pleased with the event, and many rated the Clinic a 10/10 on the participant surveys. One participant exclaimed, “If not for the volunteers, the form [N-400] would have taken me days to complete!”
This year’s Naturalization Clinic sponsors include the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Cline Williams law firm. The Clinic thanks the sponsors for their generous contributions and support of the community.
Immigration Clinic students who participated this year include:
Emma Franklin (naturalization clinic organizer)
Kate Larsen (naturalization clinic organizer)
Additional student volunteers:
Philip Jeffry Abraham
César Magaña Linares (Creighton Law student)
Elsa Menjivar Valverde
Local immigration attorneys plus the director of the Immigration Clinic, Kevin Ruser, helped oversee the legal review component of the event:
Jodi Garrelts, ’15
Deanna Piña, ’19