About the Transnational Legal Clinic
Students in the Transnational Legal Clinic have the opportunity to develop lawyering skills, understand the U.S. immigration system and the role of the lawyer within it, and have a meaningful impact on the lives of their clients. Combining direct representation of clients and international human rights advocacy with in-depth seminars and expert mentorship, the Clinic provides a unique opportunity for hands-on learning.
Students in the Clinic have successfully represented clients from countries as diverse as China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, Mali, Guinea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Working in teams of two and under faculty supervision, students are responsible for all aspects of client representation, including interviewing, legal and factual research and analysis, case theory and narrative theory development, affidavit drafting, brief writing, negotiation, and preparation of fact and expert witnesses. Students then serve as lead counsel during the trial, delivering opening and closing arguments, and conducting all direct and cross-examinations of their client and other witnesses.
Advocating for Migrants’ Rights
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Students collaborated with local and national human rights organizations in requesting hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where they presented testimony and extensive written documentation, using international human rights law to frame our partner organizations’ priority issues of concern regarding U.S. policies and practices for detaining immigrants.
United Nations Human Rights Council
In coordination and consultation with a national human rights non-profit law office and grassroots organizations in Haiti, Clinic students worked to translate a series of persistent rights violations and issues of concern into the international human rights framework for Haiti’s Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Council.
Advocating for Detained Immigrants in Pennsylvania
Working with partners such as the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition (CAIR), HIAS Pennsylvania, Nationalities Service Center, and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), students filed a complaint on behalf of noncitizen clients detained at the Pike County Correctional Facility in Hawley, PA who faced restricted access to legal counsel. Read the news story.
Other International Human Rights Projects
Students have visited Nepal, Haiti, Liberia, Ghana, and other destinations to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in the field of international human rights.
The Transnational Legal Clinic receives clients from partner organizations; we do not have an open intake process.
People seeking legal representation for immigration matters should contact other local immigration legal services providers or the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Please also note, the Transnational Legal Clinic does not represent individuals in U.S. state or federal courts.
Transnational Legal Clinic
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104