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This seminar is attended by all participants in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and addresses substantive national and international refugee law as well as advocacy skills relevant to students' work at the clinic. The substantive portion of the seminar will provide an overview of international and domestic refugee law. It will examine selected topics typically encountered in the course of students' casework in greater detail. Specific topics may include: The Refugee Convention and U.S. Law, 'Persecution' and the Human Rights Paradigm, Issues of Credibility and Proof, and Gender-Based Asylum Claims. The skills component of the seminar will cover such areas as effective client interviewing, affidavit writing, cross-cultural lawyering, conducting immigration and human rights research, and preparation of cases and client testimony. In order to cultivate best practices in student advocacy and deepen the clinical experience, this seminar draws heavily for instructional examples on current clinical experiences of students (their actual cases and clients). It will also allow students to connect their understanding of refugee law and lawyering skills to actual casework through consideration of specific issues of doctrine and policy implicated by students' cases. Students will also have an opportunity to critically reflect on their experiences, models of advocacy, and social change.
A clinical practice component is required of all students. Enrollment is through clinical registration. Clinical placements are with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic on-site and at Greater Boston Legal Services. No auditors are allowed in this seminar for confidentiality reasons.
Immigration law is one of the most divisive issues in American history, and a source of major current policy debate. This course will survey social changes and development of immigration law over the last few decades, including the emergence and role of social change movements. Topics will include undocumented immigration, international coordination on migration, judicial review and due process, refugee and asylum policy, immigration and employment, border security, state and local enforcement of immigration law, and the relationship between immigration law and crime. The course will bring some leading immigration and refugee advocates and policy-makers into the classroom, engaging students in important debates about immigration and refugee policy. The course will meet for two hours. Course requirements will consist of active participation, written questions or comments on the readings turned in prior to class meetings, and/or reaction papers submitted after class meetings. The class will conclude with a final paper in which students reflect and expand on a specific immigration topic from the course.This course is open to 1L Harvard Law students, cross-registrants and auditors (when space available) in addition to Harvard 2L and 3L students. Please email Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program Administrator, Bonnie Rubrecht, for details.
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