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Wayne Law Announces New Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic

November 30, 2009

DETROIT (Nov. 30, 2009) – Wayne State University Law School is pleased to announce the addition of a new law clinic aimed at providing students with practical experience and serving the greater community. The Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, led by Assistant Professor (Clinical) Rachel Settlage, will be offered starting in winter 2010.

The Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic will provide students with the opportunity to represent individual clients seeking immigration benefits including, but not limited to, asylum, withholding of removal, relief under the Convention Against Torture, U and T visas for victims of trafficking and other crimes, relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Special Immigrant Juvenile visas, and Temporary Protected Status, as well as help clients who obtain such relief with family reunification, adjustment of status and, eventually, naturalization.

Students will represent indigent or low-income clients who could not otherwise afford legal assistance and will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of immigration cases and gain experience working with federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Immigration Courts. Students in the Clinic will also have the opportunity to be involved with local community outreach and informational programs.

“This Clinic will give students a hands-on opportunity to address the complex legal and cultural issues that arise when representing immigrants, while also challenging them to develop analytical and problem-solving skills that they will need to be effective legal practitioners,” Settlage said. “Detroit has an incredibly diverse immigrant population and students will be exposed to both cross-cultural lawyering and the importance of representing persons or organizations otherwise unable to pay for needed legal services.”

Though the new clinic has only recently been announced, there is already a great deal of interest from Wayne Law students.

“I'm thrilled to be able to participate in the new Asylum and Immigration Clinic during my last semester of law school,” said student Elisa Gomez. “I began law school with an interest in immigration: to me, the current national battle over immigrant rights is the newest facet of the United States' ongoing civil rights movement. By creating this clinic, Wayne Law has positioned itself on the cutting edge of some of the leading legal battles of our day. The opportunity to participate in the inaugural semester of the clinic will expose me to an area of the law that has become vastly more important in the last 25 years and will allow me to assist and advocate, first and foremost, for human beings who are seeking safe haven.”

Added student Tanya Nava, "I am very excited about the new immigration clinic because, although I have been fortunate to intern at the Detroit Immigration Court, this experience will allow me to actually represent clients and learn the various aspects of immigration law. I am planning to pursue a career in immigration law after graduation so I am thankful that Wayne Law is offering this opportunity before I graduate, which will allow me to confirm my interest."

For more information on the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, please contact Professor Settlage at rsettlage@wayne.edu. Wayne Law also offers students the Disability Law Clinic, the Small Business Enterprises and Non-profit Corporations Clinic, the Environmental Law Clinic, the Child Advocacy Clinic and Criminal Appellate Practice. The Free Legal Aid Clinic, Wayne Law’s oldest clinic, is operated independently by students with lawyer supervision.

About Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan