Crossing Borders: LIJC's Trailblazing Advocacy Brings Law Students to Mexico

Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic students and staff spent 3 days in Tijuana, Mexico working with Mexican law students and community partners to provide free legal consultations and resources to migrant populations at the border. 

Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic’s innovative bi-national advocacy program is the first of its kind in the nation and offers Loyola Law School students unique international opportunities to gain greater understanding of the needs of the migrant communities at the border.  

“At LMU Loyola Law School, we believe effective U.S. and Mexican immigrant rights lawyers must learn to work collaboratively beyond borders,” says Marissa Montes ’12, director and co-founder of LIJC. "We are grateful for partnerships with community organizations and universities in Mexico, who make this program possible." 

For many of the clinical students who went to Tijuana, this experience filled a crucial gap in their understanding of a migrant's journey. "Although I had worked in immigration prior to law school, I never got to learn about the journey and the border crossing," says Kyle Koats '25. "After this experience, I have a greater understanding of the trauma that is inflicted." 

Another student with LIJC, Baylor Perry '25, says his experience working in the clinic has been incredibly rewarding. "I've learned so much," says Perry. "One thing I've enjoyed is the holistic approach the clinic takes to clients. The clinic works with social workers and all kinds of community organizations that can assist our clients beyond their legal needs." 

Through their newest bi-national program in Mexico, LIJC is paving the way for innovative, community-informed, collaborative legal services and transforming the way we teach the next generation of attorneys for others.