Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic

Fall 2019

Position: Legal Intern
Student: Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures & Plan II Senior

The University of Texas Immigration Clinic offers a yearlong internship for undergraduate students to serve as legal interns. The clinic provides pro-bono representation to low-income immigrant families living in Austin. In addition, there is a class which meets two times a week with the law students in the clinic which is available for interns to attend when they are available. This is a great opportunity to get exposed to law school and learn more about the immigration system in the US. The clinic provides hands-on experiential learning as well as opportunities for course work, making it a comprehensive introduction into immigration law. Students work 10 hours a week.

Responsibilities range depending on the cases the intern works on. Interns are directly supervised by one of the two attorneys at the clinic, and will meet with them once a week to check in on their tasks. If students speak another language they will assist in interpretation for the other law students as well as translation of supporting documents for their cases. They will do the same for their own cases. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with clients to fill out applications. Applications include work permit renewals, adjustment of status, asylum applications, and more. Students will support their clients with any other questions or concerns that may come up during their time.

Students will occasionally travel to Don Hutto detention center to carry out these interpretation tasks. The entire class will take a trip to the San Antonio Immigration Courts to see hearings first hand and speak with judges who work there. Other opportunities may arise as well to leave Austin with the clinic. These visits will inform the work that students do at the UT clinic. Lastly, students will have the opportunity to engage in the community of activism and advocacy that surrounds the immigration law network.

Fall 2017

Position: UT Immigration Clinic Intern
Student: Government Senior 

I have interned at the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic during the Fall semester. We represent individuals who are in different immigration proceedings. We have two supervising attorneys, Denise Gilman and Elissa Steglich. The Immigration Clinic shares offices with the Civil Rights Clinic, however, we (undergraduate interns) do not collaborate with the other clinic. It’s possible that the law students have a few cases with the Civil Rights Clinic’s students, but I am not aware of this. We do, however, actively collaborate with the Domestic Violence Clinic. I am required to contribute 10 hours per week, though, I often contribute a few more than that. My hours are Tuesday and Thursdays, 12:30pm-4:30pm and Friday 8:30am-11:30am. If you have a very important exam, Denise is understandable if you want to leave early. There’s a mixture of 15 2L and 3L law students, another undergraduate intern (who does similar work than I) and a social worker undergraduate intern from St. Edward’s University, she uses her social work experience to interact with our clients and offer emotional support. My responsibilities consist of supporting the law students in their cases. Those tasks consist mostly on translating documents, such as birth certificates, police reports, and affidavits. Additionally, to my surprise, I was also given my own clients. I am helping those clients apply for Legal Permanent Residency, this requires filing out I-485. Another one of my clients is applying for work permit, although he needs to take care of some legal issues in California before he can apply for Legal Permanent Residency. We are also responsible for responding to USCIS regarding any our clients and subsequently inform our clients on any updates on their case. We are also responsible for recording all communication and activities we perform. We use a management software called CLIO. This software allows us to add any letters, phone calls or meetings we have with our clients. Additionally, we must also print any emails with our clients (or regarding our clients) and USCIS documents and organized them in a physical folder. 

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508