California Asylum Representation Clinic


CARC partners with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (EBSC), a Board of Immigration Appeals recognized nonprofit organization, to assist low-income individuals and families fleeing violence and persecution with their asylum cases. Based right here in Berkeley, EBSC is one of the highest volume providers of asylum representation in the country.

CARC aims to create a community of law students passionate about working with asylum seekers as CARC members assist individual clients throughout their asylum cases. CARC also provides resources about events, jobs/internships, and advocacy related to asylee and immigrant rights issues, as well as an opportunity for participants to connect with others committed to similar social justice issues and/or career paths. 

Once students are accepted to CARC, they are placed into teams of two based on their interests and past experience. Occasionally students will work on a case alone, but more typically they work in pairs. An initial training covers client interviewing skills, ethics and confidentiality, asylum law, case management, and working with interpreters. Following this training, student pairs are assigned an affirmative asylum case and a supervising attorney. Over the course of the semester, students interview the client, draft the client’s declaration, prepare the asylum application, collect additional evidence and potentially accompany the client to the Asylum Office interview (timing dependent). Additional trainings will likely address trauma-informed lawyering practices, declaration writing and preparing for Asylum Office interviews. Students will develop skills for client-centered lawyering and gain an understanding of substantive asylum law.

Given uncertainties surrounding CARC and EBSC’s work due to Covid-19, it is possible that CARC participants will engage in activities beyond the direct client work outlined above in 2020-2021. 

Supervision: Students providing pro bono legal services through CARC will be trained and supervised by an attorney from the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (EBSC).  

Time Commitment: There will be two mandatory trainings during the first few weeks that students participate in CARC.  After that, hours will vary by week as students work on their individual cases, but students should expect to spend about 20-25 hours per semester working on CARC. 

For more information, please contact the student leaders at


We are grateful to our supporters:

Anabel Lee ’11
David B. Oppenheimer