Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides legal assistance to Iraqi refugees applying for resettlement to the United States. The project serves clients inside and near Iraq who are among the 2 million Iraqis who have fled the country due to the war, economic deprivation, and persecution, or who are in grave danger due to previous work for a U.S. employer. IRAP also assists Afghan clients who face persecution because of their work for the U.S. military, usually as interpreters. Since 2008, more than 40 Berkeley Law IRAP students have partnered with law firms and solo attorneys across the country to provide legal assistance to these refugees. There are twenty-two IRAP projects at law schools nationwide, forming a network of students actively assisting Iraqi refugees in the Middle East. Last year, the Berkeley Law IRAP project entered a partnership with Morrison & Foerster LLP. Students are paired with IRAP coordinators and supervising attorneys. Together, they contact clients overseas and develop legal strategies for their clients’ cases based upon the clients’ experiences and personal narratives. They then work alongside the attorneys to provide the client with detailed guidance in navigating the often opaque resettlement process. Students prepare documents, assist in drafting client declarations, solicit U.S. government and military recommendations, provide translation services, and advocate on behalf of their clients with the aim of seeing their clients approved for resettlement to the U.S.

We are grateful to our supporters listed below:

Dena Y. Acevedo '12
Ryan K. Elsey '12
Morrison & Foerster Foundation
David B. Oppenheimer
Matthew D. Pelnar '13