Asylum and Human Rights Clinic
In the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, law students handle every aspect of representation in high-stakes cases that determine whether a client who has fled from political, religious or other persecution will be allowed to remain permanently in the United States, or face deportation. In this intensive, one-semester program, students develop their legal skills and learn to exercise professional responsibility and judgment. They deepen their understanding of human rights issues while providing an essential service to clients desperately in need of representation.
The Asylum and Human Rights Clinic celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2012. It was honored with the Myra M. Oliver Award, awarded by the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition for exceptional service to Connecticut’s immigrant communities, at the Immigrant Day event held at the Connecticut State Capitol on April 23, 2012. The year was also marked by the launch of a highly successful interdisciplinary collaboration with the School of Social Work to enhance the services available to asylum-seekers in Connecticut.
Since its founding in 2002, the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic has won grants of asylum or other forms of relief from removal in 81 out of the 89 cases that it has handled to completion. In many of these cases, spouses and children were also beneficiaries of the asylum grant, so the total number of refugees who have been able to secure status in the United States as a result of the Clinic’s work is well over 100.
The remarkable stories of the cases handled by the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic during the 2011-12 academic year are told below. (Click on “Profiles of Recent Clinic Cases 2011-12”). The sections that follow provide a fuller description of the Clinic's program, staff, and activities.