In the Immigration Law Clinic, students provide in-depth legal assistance to low-income clients on immigration matters, including VAWA, adjustment of status, specialized visas (U and T), Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions, as well as representation before the Immigration Court in removal proceedings. The Clinic has represented immigrants from many countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Kenya, India, Egypt, the Philippines, Turkmenistan, and Russia.
A unique aspect of the Immigration Clinic is that students work on all phases of the case from the initial consultation to preparing the closing letters. Clinic students interview and counsel clients, as well as prepare declarations, legal briefs and supporting exhibits in their representation of clients before the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Students also represent clients in adversarial hearings before the Immigration Court. The Clinic transforms students into skilled practitioners ready for successful careers through the opportunity to work with many diverse clients and extensive training from talented faculty.
Each year the Immigration Law Clinic sponsors service learning opportunities to bring students, alumni, faculty and practitioners together in an enriching experience to serve the community. In 2018, the Immigration Clinic held its 10th annual Immigration Fair. During the past 10 years, the Immigration Clinic has helped hundreds of people apply for naturalization and DACA. The next fair is scheduled to be held Saturday Oct. 12, 2019.
It's wonderful to give hope to people, to let them know they too can pursue their dreams. My work at the Immigration Law Clinic showed me that I can have a rewarding career in immigration law. — Raissa Morris, '12, after winning an asylum approval for a battered young woman.
Blake Nordahl is a Certified Legal Specialist in Immigration Law by the State Bar of California, and he operated an immigration law practice for almost a decade. Nordahl is a former attorney advisor with the Executive Office for Immigration Review in San Diego and a dedicated public interest attorney supporting numerous community immigration events. He has inspired a number of clinical students to become immigration lawyers by his passionate and effective advocacy.
Kishwer Vikaas works as a legal clinic fellow at the Immigration Clinic, where she assists students in managing client casework. Vikaas previously worked as the staff attorney at a nonprofit where she provided immigration legal services to refugees, human trafficking survivors and other immigrant clients. Prior to that, she worked in health law at Legal Services of Northern California. In addition to working at the clinic, she teaches Legal Research & Writing to first-year LLM students.