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Law Clinic presents seminar on representing child refugees

Loyola press release - April 6, 2009

Attorneys interested in learning about representing child refugees are invited to attend a free half-day seminar on the subject on Friday, April 17.

The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, along with the National Center for Refugee & Immigrant Children will present “Representing Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in Removal Proceedings,” from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the College of Law, Room 308. Participating lawyers will receive 3.75 hours of MCLE credit.

Lectures include “Basic Asylum Law,” “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status” and “Why Volunteer as a Pro Bono Attorney?” The seminar will feature Sara McDowell and Tricia Swartz, senior immigration attorney and director of NCRIC.

McDowell says, “These are the most vulnerable immigrants in our society who aren’t able to advocate for their rights or afford counsel, so I think that awareness and dedication to this issue is crucial.”

Loyola clinical instructor Hiroko Kusuda and staff attorney Laila Hlass will participate alongside representatives from across the state, who contend that all children should be provided legal, social and health services.

According to NCRIC, more than 8,000 unaccompanied children arrive and are detained in the United States each year, including many in Louisiana. Most are fleeing domestic abuse, gang violence, human trafficking or poverty. Many go through legal proceedings without representation.

Pre-registration is required and can be done here. For additional information and a schedule, visit http://www.law.loyno.edu/clinic/immigration.htm or contact Terry Sulli at 504-861-5735 or loymed@loyno.edu.