The Immigrant Justice Clinic of the University of Wisconsin Law School (IJC) was founded in 2012 to meet the needs of Wisconsin's immigrant community through direct legal representation in immigration court, consultations in criminal proceedings, and education regarding immigrant rights.
The Immigrant Justice Clinic partners with the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) to provide direct legal representation to low-income immigrants in removal proceedings. Under faculty supervision, clinical students will perform all aspects of their clients' representation over the course of one year (summer plus two semesters), from the intake interviews to the final hearing in the Chicago Immigration Court.
Immigration Consultations in Criminal Cases
The IJC works with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office to train defense attorneys and advise noncitizens of the immigration consequences of criminal charges and guilty pleas, as mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky. The IJC also collaborates with the Remington Center to provide comprehensive criminal and immigration services.
Know Your Rights Presentations
Clinical students work in collaboration with CILC, the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), and the Latino Law Students Association of the UW Law School (LLSA) to conduct “Know Your Rights” presentations to ICE detainees held in the Dodge County Jail in Juneau, WI. Clinical students also participate in outreach initiatives in the community at large to increase education regarding legal rights and remedies within the immigration system.
In addition to weekly office hours and monthly visits to the Dodge County Jail, IJC students participate in a biweekly seminar. The seminar covers: (1) the substantive topics students will encounter in their client work; (2) the legal and procedural framework of removal defense work in immigration court; (3) skills development in interviewing, case management, research, and writing; and, (4) broader policy discussions on immigration topics and the issues related to pro se representation, specifically in dealing with noncitizens. Weekly supervision meetings and case rounds facilitate a collaborative approach to case work and projects.
The IJC operates a clinical program year round. Students work full-time in the summer for seven credits and a summer stipend, followed by two semesters during the academic year. Enrollment begins in the fall of each year.