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Cases and Projects: 2023-2024

The Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (CIRC) provides opportunities for students to learn the practice of law in a well-supervised and academically rigorous program. The direct representation of clients is the unique core of the students’ experience in the CIRC and substantive law content and advocacy experiences flow from the clients and their cases. Through supervised client representation and projects, the CIRC strives to coordinate the building of knowledge and skills with the exercise of judgement, the formation of professional identity and the development of critical and reflective perspectives on legal systems.

Below is a sampling of current work:


In collaboration with  the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center, law students will provide legal representation to and file applications for relief for migrants currently detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Moshannon Valley Processing Center.

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center  is a non-profit organization founded on the belief of equal access to justice, works to protect immigrants’ rights to freedom and opportunity in the United States. PIRC provides free legal services to vulnerable immigrants and their families through effective legal representation, legal counsel, education and orientation, and advocacy to help immigrants obtain or protect their legal status. 

Learning Goals:

All aspects of legal representation of clients, including client intake and interviewing, legal research, writing motions and memoranda, completing immigration filings, and appearing in immigration court. 


The CIRC is working with Aldea’s New Americans Project to staff their legal clinic for citizenship. Students from CIRC provide information on the requirements to apply to become a U.S. citizen, help future U.S. citizens complete the application for naturalization, screen applicants for any potential red flags, and identify documentation needs.

ALDEA-the people’s justice center is a non-profit legal services organization that offers universal free representation to persons detained in Pennsylvania and provides free and low-cost legal and supportive services to the vulnerable members of the immigrant community nationwide.

Learning Goals:

Client interviewing, legal analysis and research, professional judgment, problem-solving, and time management.Shape


The CIRC continues to update the Third Circuit Blog. The Blog was created in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC). The Blog consists of impartial summaries of precedential and select non-precedential Third Circuit immigration opinions relating to immigration relief from removal and detention.

Learning Goals:

Legal research and analysis, legal writing.


The CIRC collaborates with the University of Pittsburgh’s Immigration Law Clinic to support asylum seekers, with a particular emphasis on Afghan asylum cases. CIRC students interview asylum seekers, conduct legal research, assist in preparation of asylum applications, represent clients in their re-parole applications, and gather documents and evidence as needed.

Pitt Law Immigration Clinic 

The Immigration Clinic represents individuals requesting asylum, facing removal from the United States, and seeking special protection under the Violence Against Women Act. Clients may include refugees, and immigrant women and children survivors of domestic violence.

Learning Goals

Legal representation, legal research and analysis, client interviewing and counseling. 


The CIRC will conduct legal research, writing and analysis for a joint report highlighting the demographics of the immigration bench to facilitate hiring immigration judges of diverse backgrounds and experiences who possess appropriate professional competence, integrity, and judicial temperament, including commitment to equal justice under law.

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

The Commission directs the ABA’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States. Acting in coordination with other Association entities, as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies, the Commission.

  • advocates for statutory and regulatory modifications in law and governmental practice consistent with ABA policy; 
  • provides continuing education and timely information about trends, court decisions and pertinent developments for members of the legal community, judges, affected individuals and the public; and 
  • develops and assists the operation of pro bono programs that encourage volunteer lawyers to provide high quality, effective legal representation for individuals in immigration proceedings, with a special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations.

Learning Goals:

Legal research and analysis, legal writing.


To better assist the large number of international students living in State College, the CIRC distributed a questionnaire to the international student community to assess needs. This survey will shape their work to create a document responding to Frequently Asked Questions.

Learning Goals:

Legal research, legal writing, and analysis, community engagement.