Student Stories
Virginia Giannini


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The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Immigration Clinic is where Virginia feels most at home. “I'm always in the clinic office. It's my happy place. It's like running around with a chicken with my head cut off, but I love it.”

"I was so proud to be working with someone who took such a holistic approach to the case. He was never just a client, or a project, or a grade, he was a human being that she cared about deeply.” - Virginia Giannini

As disparate as the individual immigration experiences were for Virginia and her client, the difference in the way her client was treated before the hearing and afterwards was just as dramatic. She describes, “Our client went from being in detention to having an hour-long hearing where he's granted asylum. Now, all of a sudden, he's welcome. Now we want to protect you. Here are your rights, here's your access to health care, here's your access to a social security number, here's your work permit. Now we want you.”

Back at Maryland Carey Law, the group waited for their newly freed client’s ride home. In the clinic office sat Virginia and her client, a palpable reminder of how the paths of two people, so similar and so different, might cross. In a final act of compassion and empathy, Virginia settled her client into a room with her laptop playing Netflix and a pizza. Exactly what she might have wanted if their roles were reversed.