Berkeley Immigration Group

Students will have the opportunity to work alongside attorneys and other BIG members to provide free direct legal services to immigrants. Students will be able to choose between two direct-service projects that aim to keep people out of detention centers and to see people reunified with their family members.

Students can choose to work with the Anti-Carceral Legal Organizing (AcLO) Project led by the Innovation Law Lab, where students help with the preparation of bond/parole packets for detained individuals. While working with AcLO, students will become part of a large nation-wide network of immigration attorneys and law students. Additionally, students can also choose to work with the Federal Correctional Institution Dublin Project (FCI Dublin Project), a project put on by the Bay Area nonprofit organization Centro Legal de La Raza. Students on the FCI Dublin Project work in small teams with a supervising attorney to prepare release request memoranda for incarcerated clients who are at risk of being transferred to ICE detention centers after being released from federal prison.

BIG is also a community for law students to learn about the U.S. immigration system, the movement for immigrant rights, and career opportunities in immigration law. Supervising attorneys and BIG co-leaders will provide training, resources, and mentorship to members interested in immigration law and working with immigrant communities. In addition to the current projects, there may be future opportunities to participate in other projects independently or collaboratively as well as fundraising events, trainings, and lectures put on by BIG.

Supervising attorneys from Centro Legal de La Raza, Innovation Law Lab, National Lawyers Guild, and the Public Law Center will prepare students for pro bono work through content and skills-based training. Supervising attorneys and BIG co-leaders will provide guidance and answer questions. BIG is also a community for law students to learn about the U.S. immigration system, the movement for immigrant rights, and career opportunities in immigration law.    

 

Supervision: Students in BIG provide legal services under the supervision of attorneys at Centro Legal de la Raza and Innovation Law Lab.

Time Commitment: Time commitment will vary between 15-30 hours a semester depending on which projects students choose to participate in. However, members should expect to attend at least one hour-long project-specific training session in the fall semester, one two-hour collective SLP training session in the fall semester, and a few project meetings per semester. If members express a desire to work together or to socialize with members of other projects, BIG co-leaders can organize optional work sessions/meetings as well. BIG co-leaders will also host optional weekly office hours for students to ask questions and work together. We can ensure 25 hours before the end of the school year for students that will apply for the Edley Grant.

For more information, please contact the student leaders at berkeleyimmigrationgroup@berkeley.edu.