BY ISN STAFF | October 31, 2019
Gonzaga Law School and Catholic Charities Eastern Washington have launched The Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic at Gonzaga Law School. The Clinic supports low-income individuals in need of immigration legal assistance and provides training to the next generation of immigration lawyers.
The Clinic is addressing the significant unmet legal needs of immigrants and their families in the Spokane community. In addition to providing critical representation for vulnerable, underserved individuals and families, the Clinic gives law students hands-on lawyering experience, supervised by faculty, to strengthen their immigration lawyering skills.
“This partnership gives the law school community a unique opportunity to practice the Jesuit ideals of collaboration, educating agents of change, and serving the poor and marginalized in our community,” said Jacob Rooksby, dean of Gonzaga Law School. “The Clinic collaboration speaks directly to the Jesuit leadership’s recent call to expand advocacy on behalf of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.”
The Clinic is housed within University Legal Assistance (ULA), Gonzaga’s public-serving law clinic.
Second- and third-year law students staffing the Clinic advocate for clients under the direction of a supervising attorney. These students began serving eligible clients this fall with pro bono representation primarily in the areas of family reunification, humanitarian-based visas, and naturalization assistance.
“I’m thrilled to join Gonzaga in finding creative, new ways to serve our immigrant neighbors. This is a unique collaboration between a Catholic Charities organization and a Catholic university in the area of immigration legal services in the United States,” said Rob McCann, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “God calls us to go to the margins to serve the vulnerable, and our partnership means we can bring more resources and providers to this underserved group.”