Penn Law’s Transnational Legal Clinic: Having a Lawyer will make a difference

♪Intro Music Nermeen: Growing up, I have been exposed to
a lot of different immigrant communities. And had also seen how when immigrant communities were victimized, whether it was domestic violence situations, or
other types of criminal interactions, interactions with the criminal system,
how they were especially vulnerable when it came to receiving resources and help. So, coming into law school I was really thinking about, how best could I serve those populations. With that naturally came an interest in
immigration law in and of itself and also family law, gender based violence, and other topics. Sarah: When I look at what cases we’re going to take in the clinic, particularly in the immigration cases,
I’m always looking for the cases where having a lawyer will make a difference. In the context of immigration, having a lawyer, and it’s been shown in steady after study
that having a lawyer is the biggest indicator of whether or not you’re going to be successful in
pursuing an application for immigration relief. Nermeen: In the Transnational Clinic I remember
first being exposed to like academically, this concept of cross-cultural competency. You know, you work in diverse communities and
you kind of have some understanding that there’s some sensitivity needed or understanding, but to really understand how to bring that into lawyering. Sarah: In the recent years, we’ve seen a shift towards a lot more clients seeking protection from
gang violence and persecution, related to gang violence in Central America. And that’s reflective of what we see in
the immigration courts today. Karen: I think what was most gratifying, was taking ownership of a case and
working on it for a specific client, that I got to meet, to interview, give legal advice to,
respond to their questions. In law school, I think you tend to be asking a lot of questions, but not answering them. And understanding what it means to be in a position where someone’s looking to you for the guidance. Sarah: Whether that’s in a direct petition, or in immigration court, in filing an application for relief in
immigration court, or whether that’s in pursuing a claim before the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or whether that’s doing some other form of
advocacy to ultimately achieve the goals sought Each client story is different, right, each
client brings a different story, each client brings different goals, a different
set of experiences, and from that the student can learn. ♪Outro Music

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