Spring Break Border Project
Each year during spring break, four law students under the supervision of clinical faculty travel to Harlingen, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border, to provide legal assistance to immigrants and refugees being held in detention by the Department of Homeland Security. Students visit detention facilities (including juvenile detention facilities), interview clients, assist with factual and legal research, present cases in court and otherwise assist in the work of attorneys and paralegals at ProBAR, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving immigrants and refugees in detention. Applications for the trip are accepted in January.
"Participating in this project allowed me to learn about human rights issues at the border," said Guadalupe Perez. "You also learn transferable skills: researching important case law, filing petitions and talking to clients. I definitely recommend this project to students."
Volunteer Interpreters and Translators
The Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic works with clients from around the world, many of whom are not fluent in English. The clinic often needs volunteer interpreters and translators to assist with a variety of projects, from the translation of documents (such as birth certificates, death certificates, political party cards), to the translation of more detailed statements, to providing ongoing interpretation for client meetings and case preparation. The time commitment varies. Fluency in legal terminology is not required. Accuracy, understanding of professional responsibility obligations, and a signed confidentiality statement are required.