Immigration Law Clinic Goals and Structure
The Clinic represents non-citizens who otherwise would be unable to obtain legal representation. The Clinic provides in-depth practical training where students have an opportunity to work closely with real clients and develop their lawyering skills. Students work on cases at each stage from the initial consultation to final resolution.
The Immigration Law Clinic provides a practical skills experience where students gain professional skills in client interviewing, identifying and resolving legal issues, providing legal advice, and developing and implementing a case plan for their clients. Clinic students interview and counsel clients, as well as prepare declarations, legal briefs and supporting exhibits in their representation of clients before the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Court. Representative cases include VAWA, asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions, and family-based applications. The Clinic represents underserved non-citizens living below the poverty level.
Each enrolled student will handle a variety of actual cases and will represent clients under the direct supervision of an immigration attorney. Casework will be complemented by a required weekly seminar. Students will be certified by the California State Bar under the Practical Training of Law Students program. The Clinic is located in the McGeorge Community Legal Services building at 2925 34th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817, on the campus of McGeorge School of Law.
Clinic Alumni Testimonial
"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.
Prerequisites for Enrollment
To qualify for the Immigration Law Clinic a student must be an upper-division student in good standing. Enrollment in the Immigration Class or successful completion of the Immigration Class is a prerequisite. In addition, a student must be enrolled in, or have successfully completed Evidence and Civil Procedure in order to meet the California State Bar certification requirements. Students must pay to the State Bar the student registration fee and certified law student fee.
Blake Nordahl, Professor of Lawyering Skills, is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. After law school, Professor Nordahl was accepted into the U.S. Attorney General's Honors Program where he was a judicial law clerk and attorney advisory in the Immigration Court in San Diego. He then opened his own solo practice firm where he represented clients in a variety of immigration matters. Since joining McGeorge, Professor Nordahl has served as the chair of the California State Bar Advisory Law COmmission for Immigration and Nationality Law and a liaison between the Sacramento U.S. Citizitenship and Immigration Services field office and the Board of Immigration Lawyers Association. Staff Attorney Kishwer Vikaas provides additional student supervision and support.
Unit Credit and Limit on Enrollment
This is a one-semester clinic for three graded units, which includes a weekly seminar. In addition, law students will engage in client representation and counseling for a total commitment of 150 hours. Enrollment for two semesters is strongly encouraged. Enrollment in the Immigration Clinic is limited to eight students.
Contact Blake Nordahl, Supervising Attorney