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International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) brings together law students and supervising attorneys to aid individual clients and their families at various stages of the refugee and resettlement process.

What we do:

IRAP volunteers perform both intake screenings and assist in refugee applications, appeals, and interviews. Volunteers will learn to navigate the domestic and international refugee systems, advocate for their client(s), and counsel their client through the process. IRAP volunteers also participate in ad-hoc community service events with refugee and immigration centered organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area as well as policy advocacy projects on related topics.

How we do it:

Volunteers are assigned casework and placed on a team with other volunteers, a case manager, and a supervising attorney. Volunteers will spend time learning about their client’s specific legal needs, counseling their clients through interviews and the application process, and collecting documentation and information to ensure that the application is as thorough as possible. Penn Law IRAP volunteers collaborate with IRAP National attorneys, supervising attorneys, government agencies, and other Penn Law students, with the possibility of ensuring the safe arrival of our clients to the United States.

How and when can I join:

Interested students can complete an application in the fall semester to volunteer. If you have questions, please email the IRAP Co-Directors, Cassandra Dula and Cordelia Mikita.

What skills will I develop:

Client counseling, community engagement, interviewing and intake, working with vulnerable clients, collaboration, policy advocacy, legal analysis, investigation, legal research, project management, legal writing, access to government/social services.

The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.