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Students Face Language and Cultural Barriers in Immigration Cases
BY JENNIFER BALDINO BONETT
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Last fall, during the inaugural semester of the Transnational Legal Clinic, students worked with director Sarah Paoletti to file a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to urge protection for undocumented workers like Leopoldo Z. The petition, filed jointly by Penn Law, the ACLU and the National Employment Law Project, is just one example of how the Transnational Legal Clinic is giving students hands-on experience.

"It has been both shocking and enlightening to observe firsthand the many traumas and abuses that undocumented workers endure," says Christine Chuang, L'07. "Taking the clinic was a perfect way to gain exposure to such issues while working with real clients. This has made me learn to think like a lawyer, instead of just a law student."

Students like Chuang, with her interest in human rights and immigration issues, may be drawn to the clinic naturally. But the interface between U.S. and international law is becoming organic to the entire practice of law in this country, explains Paoletti.
 
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