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What's the Best Law School for a Career in Immigration Law?

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Unlike lawyers who choose a field of practice for the money, immigration attorneys are often motivated by something else.

Perhaps they are immigrants or children of immigrants. It may run even deeper to a less complicated time when the United States was a nation of immigrants.

Whatever the impetus, it takes due consideration to pursue a career in immigration law. It begins with choosing the right law school.

Clinical Work

Immigration law is hands-on, often pushing lawyers from their desks to the forefront. They become interpreters, enforcers, and advocates.

Law schools that offer clinical programs give students that kind of practical training. The University of Texas-Austin, for example, offers an immigration clinic with cases involving asylum applications, citizenship claims, and deportation defense.

The American Immigration Council also collaborates with law schools, law firms and bar associations to help immigrants dealing with deportation, detention and other matters.

Certificates and Classes

Some law schools award certificates and core classes in immigration law. The University of California - Davis School of Law, for example, offers an immigration law certificate.

The University of Virginia and Loyola Marymount University offer immigration programs, giving students opportunities to work with legal aid organizations and pro bono projects. Through the outreach, students also interact with immigration lawyers and prospective employers.

Language and More

Speaking a second language opens the door to many opportunities, especially in immigration law. Law schools don't typically offer language classes, but language skills may help a student get into law school.

On the other hand, it may not help you to write a personal statement about immigration when applying. It is better to convince an admissions committee that you care about immigration because it affects many people.

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