Manpreet ("Moni") Gill '15 recently secured a position as a legal intern at the U.S. Immigration Court in Detroit. The position is a year-long commitment and the selection process is extremely competitive. As a legal intern, Ms. Gill will assist the Immigration Court with research and writing of opinions. It is a highly-prized placement, because it allows students to gain excellent writing skills and also to see the inner workings of a very busy court.
Ms. Gill is serving this summer as the research assistant for our Immigration Law Clinic, and this month represented a client seeking asylum in the U.S. before the Asylum Office in Chicago. She represented her client extremely well, and there was not a dry eye in the interview – even the Asylum Officer and the interpreter were in tears as the client narrated what happened to her and her family in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
These are the kinds of experiences that set UDM Law apart: students receive invaluable training and directly represent clients. Moni's is just one of hundreds of stories about UDM students who give back to their community and advance their education at the same time.
About UDM's Unique Immigration Law Program
UDM's Immigration Law Program is unique. UDM is the first law school in the U.S. to offer a Concentration in Immigration Law to students who excel in a rigorous and comprehensive series of doctrinal classes and practice-based experiential courses. UDM is a national leader in the education of immigration attorneys and offers more immigration law-related courses than any law school in the U.S.
UDM offers the standard Immigration Law survey course but ours is taught, in alternating terms, by Immigration Judge Marsha Nettles, an alumna and frequent mentor of UDM students, and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic, Professor David Koelsch.
UDM's Immigration Law Clinic provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the practice of immigration law through live-client representation of immigrants seeking a variety of relief and benefits, including family sponsorship, Violence against Women Act Petitions, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Students represent clients in trials before the U.S. Immigration Court for clients seeking protection from persecution in their home country (asylum). The Clinic also participates in hearings before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and students write briefs to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The classroom component has substantive instruction in interviewing, litigation, and appellate advocacy skills, as well as attorney-client relations, ethics, and case strategy.
UDM also offers the Immigration Law Firm Program, which is taught by three partners at Fragomen, the world's largest and preeminent immigration law firm, in which students work under close supervision of the instructors on simulated cases drawn from actual practice. UDM is also the only law school to offer a course in U.S. and Canadian immigration law, which Professor Koelsch teaches in alternating terms.