Fall and Spring Semesters
About forty-five students are placed each year with HIRC for clinical credit. Students typically work between 12 and 20 hours per week. Students are either placed at Harvard or at Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston’s oldest legal services organization. Students must also enroll in the co-requisite Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Seminar.
Recently, HIRC expanded into the dynamic field of Crimmigration, an increasingly important and complex area of law concerning the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. The Crimmigration seminar is offered in the fall and is a prerequisite for the spring clinic. Other courses offered by the Clinic include: Trauma, Refugees and Asylum Law; Immigration Law: Policy and Social Change, Emerging Issues in Refugee Protection: The Representation of Child Asylum Seekers.
Over the past several years, the Clinic has developed international partnerships with clinics in Hong Kong, Israel, Argentina and Australia in order to expand students’ legal and hands-on understanding of emerging asylum systems in different countries. The Clinic also fosters independent clinical projects for students during January term to create other unique and important student experiences in immigration and refugee law, domestically and internationally, and supervises winter term writing projects on refugee law and crimigration.
For the past three years, HIRC faculty and staff have worked closely with the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono to plan Spring Break trips for students to the southern border to tackle detention and migration issues. In 2015 and 2016, students, supervised by clinicians, have had the opportunity to represent detained asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors with ProBar in Harlingen, Texas. During winter term in 2015, HIRC faculty and staff accompanied students to Texas to provide pro bono legal assistance to recent refugee arrivals, mainly women and children, being housed in family detention facilities at the border. In 2014, HIRC faculty and staff accompanied students to Arizona to work with No More Deaths over spring break.