Through the Legal Resources Project for Immigrant Service Providers, the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic assists immigrant-serving CBOs to meet their legal assistance needs, develop resources to improve staff skill and knowledge, and increase their independent legal service capacity. As a result, low-income immigrants and refugees are ensured access to high-quality legal representation free of charge or at a minimal cost. Through this clinic project, legal resources, legal advice, information dissemination and professional development are provided through a coordinated network of CBO partners. The clinic dovetails its knowledge, skills and resources with those of the CBOs and creates linkages among them to facilitate further information exchange and collaboration.
As part of the College of Law, the clinic is uniquely positioned to investigate complex legal issues, respond to law reform concerns and enhance legal representation. The clinic delivers services tailored to agencies’ individual and collective needs including:
- Regular, systematic telephone counseling and advice
- Legal research in complex cases
- Regular training of partner agency staff on immigration law and practice
- Consultation and advice on DOJ recognition and accreditation
- Representation in a limited number of referred cases
- Development and dissemination of legal information for the public
- Community presentations with agency partners
- Consultation on case management and administration
- CBO staff mentoring and consulting
The goals of the Legal Resources Project are grounded in the present-day realities of immigration law and law enforcement. The existing immigration system creates significant obstacles and risks for immigrants and refugees seeking a path toward citizenship. The potentially drastic consequences for immigrants and refugees who make a mistake in the application process highlights the need for immigrants and refugees of limited means to access reliable information and quality representation in order to ensure family reunification and protection from harm.
Through the Legal Resources Project, the clinic assists neighborhood organizations that work with immigrants and refugees, while giving DePaul law students practical experience as they fulfill the university’s Vincentian Mission of serving the underprivileged in our communities.