Wake Forest University School of Law Pro Bono Project
Volunteer Opportunities for Law Students: Immigration
On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced that it will offer “deferred action” to noncitizens who were brought to the United States as children and meet other specific requirements. Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion, not a formal legal status under immigration law. Applicants to the program will simultaneously apply for an Employment Authorization Document. They may be eligible for driver’s licenses or other state benefits under state law. For more information, see http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-qa-guide-updated
Students at Wake Forest University School of Law who receive training on the DACA program will have several opportunities to volunteer to assist applicants under the supervision of attorneys who are providing pro bono or “low bono” help to DACA applicants. If there is sufficient interest among students and demand by attorneys and potential applicants, these projects will continue and training will be offered again in the spring. Attendance at DACA training is a prerequisite to volunteer for any of the opportunities listed below:
(1) Trained law students can volunteer to help with the pro bono efforts of individual attorneys who are assisting DACA applicants, in two settings.
- Students are needed to assist local attorneys with specific pro bono DACA events (a commitment of a few hours on the day of the scheduled event).
- Students are also needed to provide ongoing assistance to attorneys with their pro bono or “low bono” DACA caseload. This opportunity to work one-on-one with a supervising attorney is limited to 2L and 3L students. Interested students who want to volunteer for this opportunity should contact Professor Taylor, and should be willing to commit at least 10 hours (over a time period to be agreed upon by the student and attorney) to work on DACA cases with a supervising attorney.
(2) Trained students can also volunteer with nonprofit organizations in the Triad area at their scheduled DACA events (a commitment of a few hours on the day of the event, although a student could volunteer for more than one event). This opportunity may involve travel to Greensboro or other nearby communities.
(3) In addition, trained law students can volunteer to assist at a one-day Saturday group processing event in Winston-Salem, where local attorneys will volunteer to provide pro bono assistance to DACA applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and have attended an orientation session hosted by community organizations and churches in the Winston-Salem area. Students do not need to speak a second language to volunteer at these events. Bilingual students can play a special role in all of these settings, however, and students who are proficient in another language should identify themselves when they volunteer for these programs.
Ama Frimpong is the student coordinator of immigration projects for the Wake Forest University School of Law Pro Bono Project; she can be contacted at email@example.com.
Professor Margaret Taylor is the coordinator of the Winston-Salem pro bono DACA event, and the contact for 2L and 3L students who want to volunteer to provide ongoing support to a local immigration attorney. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.