Immigration Law Courses and Classes Overview

Immigration law courses are available as part of Master of Laws (LLM) degree programs. They are generally intended for lawyers who have already graduated from law school with a Juris Doctor (JD) and passed the bar. These courses prepare lawyers for a specialized career in immigration law. Some JD programs offer immigration law courses as electives.

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Essential Information

Immigration law courses teach students about the policies of the U.S. and other countries regarding immigration. Topics include immigration reform, how to become a citizen, obtaining asylum and refugee status and immigrants' rights. LLM programs also offer internships in law clinics, in which lawyers can gain work experience.

List of Common Courses

The immigration law courses below are usually part of LLM programs, though some JD programs offer them as electives as well.

Immigration and Nationality Law Course

An immigration and nationality law course covers the specifics of immigration law in different contexts. Students analyze the immigration laws of the U.S. and other countries as well as the regulatory agencies that administer these laws. They look at immigration-related legislation and judicial policies. Students explore ways in which immigration law may change as a result of policy and administration changes.

Immigration Policy and Law Course

This immigration law course is a lectured-based analysis of how policy is used to regulate immigration. Students learn how immigration laws are implemented and how immigrants can become citizens. The course covers immigration law reform and analysis of immigration laws from a national security perspective.

Refugee and Asylum Law Course

Students in immigration law courses that emphasize refugee and asylum issues learn how to define the terms refugee and asylum. They also learn how these definitions can pertain to real cases. Issues with refugees and asylum-granting entities often extend beyond courts to become matters of public policy. Course topics may include the examination of landmark cases in immigration law. Students in this course also become familiar with human rights and international refugee law.

Immigration Law Clinic Course

After learning immigration law and theory, prospective immigration lawyers can enroll in a clinic course. Clinics give students the opportunity to apply the immigration procedures they learned in the classroom to real-life situations. They may work under the supervision of active immigration lawyers and assist on current immigration cases. Students also get a chance to interact with clients and study precedents.

Immigrants' Rights Clinic Course

In this clinic course, students get first-hand experience providing representation for immigrants. Students are responsible for case development, including legal research. Actually arguing a case may be part of this course. Other forms of immigrants' rights advocacy, including public speaking, may also be involved.

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