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Transnational Legal Clinic students are having a world-wide impact.


Students enrolled provide direct representation to individuals seeking asylum and other forms of immigration relief and engage in human rights advocacy before regional and international human rights mechanisms. Working under faculty supervision, students develop core lawyering competencies, while working to achieve their clients’ goals through the use of a range of advocacy tools, such as litigation, legislative and administrative advocacy, investigation and report writing, media advocacy, community education and organizing, in local, national and international arenas. Throughout their clinic work – in the seminar, case rounds, and in weekly supervisory meetings, students explore the role of the law, the lawyer and the client – integrating theory and practice – in settings that cut across cultures, languages, borders, and legal systems.

TLC students are expected to critically reflect on the choices presented and choices made in the course of lawyering, as they develop their professional identity as a lawyer.

The Program

Professor Sarah Paoletti discusses the Transnational Legal Clinic.

The Clinic meets in seminar twice weekly to provide training in fundamental lawyering competencies, including: client interviewing, case theory development, fact investigation, strategic planning, client counseling, negotiation, drafting legal pleadings, courtroom litigation and non-litigation advocacy skills. Students participate in video-taped interviews, counseling and negotiation sessions with their simulated and actual clients, and conduct non-litigation advocacy exercises before invited community members and experts in media and legislative advocacy. Students are also introduced to and asked to critically examine theories of human rights lawyering during the seminar. Through case rounds, students present developments, solicit and provide suggestions and feedback regarding specific legal, factual, ethical and strategic issues that arise during the course of their client representation. These sessions provide an invaluable opportunity for students to learn from each other.

During weekly supervision sessions, students receive guidance and feedback from their faculty supervisor on all aspects of client representation and human rights advocacy, as they develop and implement their case theory and strategic case plan, advance their case(s) towards the achievement of their client(s) goals, confront various ethical and professional responsibility questions, and the variety of challenges lawyers face in course of client representation. 

Registration Information

Transnational Legal Clinic: One semester course offered both Fall and Spring semesters
# of Credits:

7 credits (may drop one credit in exchange for satisfying 35 hours of student’s pro bono requirement).

Pre-requisites: None. Prior experience or course-work in Public International Law or International Human Rights, and Immigration Law, Refugee Law, or Administrative Law is recommended.
Registration Information:

Open to JD 3L students and first and second semester 2L students.

LLM students may enroll, but should not register during Advance Registration as an interview with Clinic faculty is required.  Consult these Registration Instructions. 


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