Federal Judges Visit Law School’s Clinic & Justice Center to Kick-Off Field Placement Program

Federal Judges Visit Law School’s Clinic & Justice Center to Kick-Off Field Placement Program

11/3/2013 | Facebook|Twitter|Email
From left, Judge Chin, Judge Sagerman, Judge Katzmann and Judge Weisel.

A new immigration initiative by Albany Law School’s Clinic & Justice Center brought four federal judges onto the campus to meet with students and faculty and discuss the current issues students may face working in immigration law.

The new program, called the Immigrant's Rights Initiative, offers a field placement for second- or third-year students to directly represent immigrants facing removal proceedings while incarcerated within New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).  The students will work under the supervision of an attorney from Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York. 

Coordinated in part by Professor Nancy Maurer, the judges who attended campus this week included Robert Katzmann, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Denny Chin, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Roger F. Sagerman, Immigration Judge, Ulster County and Downstate; and Robert D. Weisel, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge, New York. Victoria Graffeo, N.Y. State Court of Appeals, joined the judges for lunch after the campus sessions hosted by President & Dean Penelope (Penny) Andrews.

Thousands of immigrants face removal proceedings at any one time. Many may be eligible for types of relief but have no knowledge or access to avenues that can help them. Students will educate, advise and provide litigation support for clients facing deportation.

Community partners involved in the program include Joanne Macri '84, director of regional initiatives, N.Y. State Office of Indigent Legal Services; Jojo Annobil, Immigration Law Unit, Legal Aid Society, New York City; Barbara Brenner, Esq., American Immigration Lawyers Association; Karen L. Murtagh '85, executive director, Prisoners Legal Services; Rosa Cohen-Cruz, staff attorney, Prisoners' Legal Services of New York; and Samantha Howell '10, pro bono coordinator/staff attorney, Prisoners' Legal Services of N.Y.

Faculty members involved in the initiative with Professor Maurer, co-director of the Clinic & Justice Center, include Mary Lynch, who directs the Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic; Sarah Rogerson, who directs the Family Violence Litigation Clinic and Immigration Project;  Christian Sundquist, who teaches immigration law; Nancy Ota, who taught the school’s first immigration law course; Rosemary Queenan, associate dean of student affairs; and Laurie Shanks, who directs the Semester in Practice program.