Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic

Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic

Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic students class of Spring 2015
The Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC) usually accepts applications during March of each academic year.

The Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC) is a community-based collaboration of Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University, Homeboy Industries Inc., and Dolores Mission Church. LIJC’s dual-pronged mission is to advance the rights of the indigent immigrant population in East Los Angeles through direct legal services, education, and community empowerment, while teaching law students effective immigrants’ rights lawyering skills in a real world setting. LIJC focuses on providing representation to individuals who are unable to obtain immigration legal services elsewhere with an emphasis on immigrants with certain immigration and criminal complications who reside in the East Los Angeles area. 

The Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC) usually accepts applications during March of each academic year. Participation in this full year course satisfies LLS' Pro Bono Requirement, exposes students to the lawyering and advocacy skills necessary to be an effective immigrants’ rights attorney and teaches students about both substantive and procedural law as it relates to live client cases. View the Course Format and Requirements and application procedures.

Above: Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic client Esmeralda and clinical law student Alejandro Barajas '15 describe Esmeralda's odyssey from undocumented immigrant to Green Card holder.

Participation in LIJC exposes students to the lawyering and advocacy skills necessary to be an effective immigrants’ rights attorney and teaches students about both substantive and procedural law as relates to your client’s cases. LIJC also gives students the opportunity to reflect on the lawyer’s role in direct representation and community-based legal advocacy through reading, classroom discussion, and reflection papers. In order to participate in LIJC, students must have completed a course in immigration law or must be concurrently enrolled in immigration law with enrollment in LIJC. Our clinic is meant as the next step beyond basic immigration law concepts and is meant as a training ground to build the most effective social justice advocates by educating law students to diligently and ethically represent real clients.

Regarding advocacy projects and clinical course work, once a student is assigned a case, the student will be acting as the client’s legal representative and students have primary responsibility in making project-related decisions, conducting necessary factual and legal research, and implementing any decisions. LIJC is committed to helping students become familiar with the doctrines, institutions, procedures, conflicts, customs, and ethical problems relevant to immigrants’ rights work. LIJC emphasizes a model of decision-making based on deliberative planning, identification of all possible options, and assessment of the relative advantages and disadvantages of available options as they relate to the larger immigration case. Actual practice enables the students enrolled in LIJC to gain first-hand appreciation for the effects of time pressures, interpersonal factors, and emotions that impact decision-making during the course of an immigration case.  LIJC expects students to reflect deliberatively on their work, and to re-evaluate decisions as facts and circumstances of their case change and develop. The ultimate goal is to work collaboratively with clients and other immigrants’ rights activists to define goals and achieve positive results.

Course Format & Requirements

Enrollment in LIJC is a yearlong commitment. The Fall semester will be composed of two (2) graded in-class course credits and two (2) ungraded externship based course credits. Externship based course credits are for work with clients in a clinical setting and are to be completed outside of time allocated for in-class requirements. A two (2) credit externship amounts to about 10 hours of work each week. In addition to their individual case work, students will participate on a rotating basis to assist with general client intakes alongside Co-Directors, Marissa Montes and Emily Robinson throughout the semester. The Spring semester will be composed of one (1) ungraded in-class course credit and two (2) ungraded externship based course credits. 

For both advanced and first-time students, we will consider the following criteria in evaluating your case work: (1) professionalism and adherence to the highest ethical standards, (2) commitment to working collaboratively with clients (or, in the case of advocacy projects, with other activists) to define and achieve project goals, (3) zealous advocacy on behalf of clients, (4) reflective and thoughtful lawyering, (5) quality of advocacy, whether oral or written, (6) case management, including file management and adherence to internal and external time deadlines, and (7) effectiveness in working as a team to resolve any issues. Grades are based on the timely completion and quality of all course requirements. Advanced students will enroll in LIJC using 2-4 of their externship units and will receive a grade of pass/fail. Please note that participation in the clinical course satisfies the pro bono graduation requirement. 


Students who have completed Immigration Law (including Immigration Law as a 1st Year Elective) prior to enrolling in the Clinic, or who are concurrently enrolled in Immigration Law during the Fall 2016 semester are eligible to apply to take the course.  

Accepted students must commit to completing both the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters, and may not increase or decrease the number of units for the course.


Giving to the Clinic

Gifts to LIJC help students continue to serve immigrants in need.