Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - Beus Center for Law and Society Snell & Wilmer Plaza

Immigration Clinic

The Immigration Clinic collaborates with local nonprofits, governmental agencies, and community advocates to identify foster children in need of immigration services. The clinic also provides legal advice and referral at events organized by community agencies, non-profits and elected officials.

These services include:

  1. Immigration Petitions for Special Juvenile Status (SIJ)
  2. Naturalization through adoption by a US Citizen or for children who previously obtained lawful permanent status through SIJ
  3. Retrieval of immigration documents or records to establish immigration status
  4. General information sessions on immigration

The foster children are represented by certified limited practice students, who are mentored by Professor Evelyn H. Cruz, the clinic’s faculty director.

Students who participate in the clinic are able to:

  • Represent abused, neglected, abandoned children in immigration proceedings and state dependency
  • Draft motions, briefs, legal correspondence, closing statements, and direct examination questions
  • Provide brief consultations at legal fairs to individuals with immigration law questions
  • Research law and country conditions, interview and prepare experts/witnesses, investigate and document case facts
Immigration Clinic director, Evelyn Cruz talking with a student during an information fair.

New Immigration Clinic students must enroll in two graded courses:

Immigration Clinical Skills (3 Units): The objectives of this course are to train you how to perform legal skills that lawyers use to represent clients before administrative courts. These skills include client interviewing, cross-cultural communication, legal research, administrative and court filing procedures, persuasive legal writing. In addition, this course trains you on administrative and non-jury trial techniques.

Immigration Clinical Practice (3 Units): The objective of this course is to provide you the opportunity to represent a client(s). You are the attorney. The clinic faculty and clinic coordinator will provide you with support and guidance through one-on-one mentorship and group case round meetings, but you bear primary responsibility for your case. Students are expected to work 135 hours over the semester on activities such as client interviews, meetings with clinic faculty, staff, and other students to discuss their cases, conducting factual and legal case research, participating in outreach activities, performing file maintenance, drafting correspondence, as well as preparing immigration applications and filings.

Returning Immigration Clinic students need instructor permission to enroll for an additional semester and receive one to two pass/fail credits. Returning students are expected to help with class moots, provide mentorship to new students, and to assist with clinic cases and any needed research.

Student applications dates for the clinic

Spring 2024:

Applications: September 22 - October 22, 2023
Offers extended to students: October 27, 2023
Student acceptances due: October 31, 2023

**IMPORTANT!* - Externships and Clinics – Students who have applied for an externship or clinic and been accepted may decline upon offer without consequence. However, once a student has accepted an externship or clinic, any student who drops the externship or clinic without prior approval by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will be subject to the 12-month ban.

Clinic application

Our People

Evelyn Cruz

Evelyn Cruz
Director, Immigration Clinic
Clinical Professor of Law

Karina Ordonez

Karina Ordonez
Faculty Associate

Claudia Diaz Castro

Claudia Diaz Castro
Program Coordinator