Law 792 - Immigrant Family Legal Clinic

Nina Rabin

Nina Rabin

Director of the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic
B.A. Harvard University, 1998
J.D. Yale Law School, 2003
Course Description:

This live-client clinic serves immigrant families on the site of the Robert F. Kennedy campus of six K-12 LAUSD public schools located in Koreatown.  The location of this clinic will give students a unique opportunity to practice community lawyering – embedded in a trusted space where students, family members, educators, and community organizations all work closely and collaboratively with law students and lawyers on site.  The clinic’s work involves individual representation of immigrant students and family members on immigration and employment matters, brief legal consultations on a range of additional issues, community outreach and education, and policy research and advocacy.  During the COVID19 pandemic, we have adapted our casework and outreach to be largely remote.  Students who are interested in limited live-client work with social distancing measures in place may have that option, but most of the work will be remote unless/until we get guidance from the University and LAUSD that we can transition back to in-person activities.

Through this clinic's multi-faceted approach to law practice, students will have opportunities for professional development in three areas.  First, through individual casework, they will develop traditional lawyering skills, including interviewing, counseling, and legal research and writing.  At the same time, they will gain exposure to a range of additional advocacy tools and methods related to working effectively with the vibrant organizing work underway in this community.  Finally, the school is a crucible for many issues of importance to immigrant youth and their families far beyond the campus’s boundaries, and the clinic’s work seeks to engage students in the rich opportunities for policy research and advocacy presented by its unique location.

Course Learning Outcomes:

The learning outcomes for this clinic correspond to four areas of professional development that are integral to the project and casework we will undertake.  We have divided the areas of professional growth into four categories, although they clearly overlap and intersect with one another.

    Professional Responsibility and Ethics:  We use a model of supervision that gives you primary responsibility for all of your case- and project-work.  Unlike the student/professor or student/employer relationships that you may be accustomed to in your doctrinal classes and externships, in this clinic, you and your partner are expected to take the leadership role in your clinical work.  In so doing, you are expected to seek out guidance and input from your supervisor as appropriate, but you will be the primary decision-maker, along with your partner, in your project/casework.  This will require taking initiative with unfamiliar tasks and activities that may feel uncomfortable at first.  It will also require spending a lot of time planning, discussing, and evaluating with your partner and supervisor each decision made.  Through the process of taking the leadership role in your case, you will experience first-hard the ethical tensions and significant responsibilities of the profession.

    Systematic Approach to Lawyering: taking primary responsibility for your case- and project-work will require you to develop skills in file management, case planning, and collaboration.  You will find it necessary to implement consistent systems for communicating and record-keeping in order to carry out your work effectively.  Although it can be daunting to set deadlines for yourself and your team, rather than having the externally imposed deadlines of mid-terms/finals, this type of case planning will be essential in order to complete the work effectively and with excellence.  

    Lawyering Skills and Values: through your case- and project-work, you will be exposed to a range of advocacy skills and activities of attorneys, including communication, interviewing, client counseling, fact investigation, legal research and writing, case theory development, community outreach and policy advocacy.  We have intentionally designed projects – and the IFLC clinic overall – in a matter that utilizes a broad range of advocacy methods and operates at different levels of the legal system. 

    Education and Professional Development: through the seminar and supervision meetings, we will think critically about the role of the law and the lawyer in society.  We hope you leave the course with awareness and understanding of the broad social, political, economic, and policy issues and factors that may affect the ability of our incividual clients and the communities we serve to solve or address individual problems through the legal system.  We also aim to give you the breadth of exposure to a range of advocacy methods, detailed above, so that you can reflect on what types of advocacy you find particularly gratifying and/or effective. 

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Nina Rabin 20F 792 LEC 1 WF 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 6.0 No No
  Experiential course enrollment through separate process; deadline: July 27, noon. See ENROLL.LAW.UCLA.EDU. Early drop deadline: 5:00 pm on 8/14/2020.
Nina Rabin 21S 792 LEC 1 WF 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 6.0 No No
  Experiential course enrollment through separate process; deadline: Noon on 11/6/20. See ENROLL.LAW.UCLA.EDU. Early drop deadline: 5:00pm on 1/11/21.