The Immigration Clinic represents individuals in immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in Baltimore.
Because the Clinic's cases are typically large and complex, students must take the Clinic over two semesters, for four credits per semester. Students will work under the supervision of Maureen A. Sweeney.
Each student in the clinic handles at least two to three cases, which are distributed according to student preference, to the extent possible. Student attorneys, under clinical director supervision, perform all aspects of case preparation including client interviews, fact development, witness interviews, writing motions and legal briefs, court appearances, trial and post-relief issues. The immigration clinic seeks to provide an environment for students conducive to learning these skills and applying them in real cases.
Student attorneys represent clients who are fleeing persecution in their homelands and seeking asylum in the US, individuals in danger of being deported because of criminal convictions, and individuals who have been the victims of domestic violence or other crimes. In addition, the clinic has a number of cases that have challenged abusive enforcement practices by the government.
For more information on the cases handled by the Immigration Clinic, see our recent success stories.
The Clinic is also the home of the Immigration Consequences of Maryland Convictions Project. The project provides training to criminal defense attorneys about the often severe immigration consequences of criminal convictions and, specifically, of convictions under Maryland criminal law. The project maintains the Maryland Immigration Consequences of Convictions chart , a tool for practitioners to aid them in analyzing the likely immigration consequences of convictions under Maryland statutory and common law. This allows defense counsel to structure plea agreements and to defend and advise their clients with an understanding of the full effects of any conviction that might result, in accordance with the Supreme Court's recent landmark decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 599 U.S. ___ 2010. Clinic students recently planned and presented “Crimmigration,” an educational session on the implications of Padilla for the practice of criminal law.
Together with the World Relief Baltimore Immigration Legal Services, the Clinic sponsors a free consultation program for individuals who are in removal (deportation) proceedings in the Baltimore Immigration Court. On the first and third Friday of every month, experienced pro bono immigration attorneys provide free consultations on a first come, first served basis.