Asylum Law

Course Description

This seminar addresses the humanitarian endeavor to provide legal relief and protection to victims of persecution and torture. The seminar is both substance- and skill-based and will be co-taught by two attorneys with extensive asylum litigation experience: one of the directors of the law school’s Immigration Clinic and a recently-retired U.S. Department of Justice Senior Litigation Counsel. Students will grapple with the following fundamental questions:

What are the international bases of U.S. humanitarian protection law?

What are the contours of the protection the U.S. provides?

How does procedural access affect the scope of protection?

What is the need, if any, for cross-border relief and protection?

Is current U.S. law adequate to meet the need for protection or the country’s protection obligations?

Rather than producing a final paper, seminar students will demonstrate mastery of asylum law issues by writing and refining an appellate brief and by presenting oral argument in a mock federal court case before a panel of practicing attorneys. Additionally, each student will serve as the class expert as to a particular aspect of asylum law. This course will complement the already-offered immigration law survey course, the already-offered administrative law course, and the work of the Chacón Center clinics.

Current and Previous Instructors

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions

P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course

Currently Scheduled Sections

CRN: 99617

  • Fall '23
  • 3
  • 402
  • Mon: 9:50-11:50
    Wed: 10:55-11:50


  • Margaret Taylor

    Maureen Sweeney

  • 7 openings. (Limit 15).
  • 539u

  • The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts 3rd Edition

    ISBN: 9780199378357 Print edition (preferred) or online subscription

    The Winning Oral Argument: Enduring Principles with Supporting Comments from the Literature (Coursebook) 2nd Edition

    ISBN: 9780314198853 Print edition (preferred) or online subscription