How You Can Help

Many people reach out to the Immigration Clinic to ask how they can help immigrants in our community. Below, we list some suggestions of ways that you can support immigrants in Hampton Roads.

Everyone can help by…

  1. Learning more about immigration law and policy. There are lots of ways to learn more, like reading our blog or attending an event hosted by the Immigration Clinic.
  2. Reading immigrants’ and asylum seekers’ stories (on your own or with a book club!). Beyond the news, there are many fabulous books written by immigrants and asylum seekers that tell their story. One of our favorites is Asylum Denied by David Ngaruri Kenney and Philip Schrag.
  3. Inviting the Immigration Clinic to speak to your community group. We are always happy to speak with community groups about the work we do, as well as give presentations on particular topics of interest, such as immigrants and domestic violence, applying for US citizenship, or asylum law and procedure. Please reach out if you would like us to speak at an upcoming event.
  4. Passing along the Clinic’s contact information to those who may need representation. In your work as a caseworker, educator, pastor, or other position, you may meet individuals or families in our community who may need our services. Please pass along our contact information to them so that we can speak with those who may need legal assistance.
  5. Keeping up-to-date with local and state laws that may affect immigrants. Organizations like the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO) follow proposed policies at the General Assembly every year.
  6. Keeping up-to-date with current events about immigration law and policy. One of our favorite ways to stay up-to-date is through the weekly email “Migratory Notes.” Migratory Notes brings together news from across sources to discuss issues related to immigrants and immigration. Read the archive here and click here to subscribe to their weekly emails.
  7. Sharing what you have learned on social media. The Immigration Clinic has created several infographics about our work (available at this link). Share a link to our blog or these infographics on social media so that others can learn about our work. Be sure to tag William & Mary Law School (on Facebook, on Twitter @WMLawSchool, or on Instagram @wmlawschool) when you do!
  8. Donating to the Immigration Clinic. The Clinic is funded primarily by grants and private donations. Every donation–no matter the size–makes a difference for the Clinic.

Because of your career or background, there may be other ways that you can assist immigrants in our community. See below for specific ways that students, professors, professionals, and attorneys can assist immigrants in our community.

Law students can help by…

  1. Signing up to participate in the Clinic. Students enrolled in the Clinic work on cases as well as outreach and policy projects to support immigrants in our community.
  2. Applying to be a summer intern or research assistant with the Clinic. Be on the lookout each Spring for each year’s application process.
  3. Hosting a lunchtime talk with the Immigration Clinic about a topic relevant to your student group.
  4. Hosting a fundraiser for the Clinic with your student group. The Clinic is funded primarily by grants and private donations. Every donation–no matter the size–makes a difference for the Clinic.
  5. Signing up for an AILA student membership, if you would like to practice immigration law after graduation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is a fantastic organization uniting private and public interest attorneys in immigration law. As a student member, you have access to thousands of resources to learn more about immigration law and careers in immigration.

Any student can help by…

  1. Learning more about immigration law and policy. The Immigration Clinic strives to hold events open to all students at William & Mary, not just law students. Check our events page on the blog, as well as our William & Mary Events Calendar, to see what our next event will be.
  2. Inviting the Immigration Clinic to speak to your student group or organization. The Immigration Clinic is happy to speak on a variety of topics. Please reach out to us with your ideas.
  3. Volunteering with the Immigration Clinic. Calls for volunteers will be posted through the Office of Community Engagement.
  4. Learning more about immigrants’ experience here in the United States. Enroll in courses across disciplines to learn more about immigrants’ experiences.
  5. Getting involved with other organizations on campus that support immigrants and immigrants’ rights.
  6. Hosting a fundraiser for the Clinic with your student group. The Clinic is funded primarily by grants and private donations. Every donation–no matter the size–makes a difference for the Clinic.

Professors or other professionals can help by…

  1. Volunteering to write expert affidavits for asylum seekers’ cases. Asylum cases are extremely fact- and country-specific, which requires us to submit detailed research about the conditions in a particular country. Your areas of expertise as a professor can be helpful for our cases. Please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about writing an expert affidavit for a case.
  2. Volunteering to do forensic evaluations for free. In order to support their cases, asylum seekers must often submit psychological, physical, and gynecological evaluations to help prove parts of their claim. These evaluations make a real difference in asylum seekers’ cases. If you are a professional in the Hampton Roads region who is interested in assisting in these evaluations, please reach out to us.
  3. Inviting the Immigration Clinic to speak to your class. We are happy to speak to students in a variety of disciplines about immigration law and policy and the work we do in the Clinic. Please reach out to us so that we can talk about ideas for collaboration.

Attorneys can help by…

  1. Volunteering to take pro bono cases. While the Immigration Clinic does not currently coordinate pro bono representation, you may live in a city or region where this is an organization that can mentor you in your pro bono representation.
  2. Attending an Immigration Clinic training or event for attorneys. The Immigration Clinic is in the process of planning several events for attorneys. Please keep checking back on our events page for more information.
  3. Representing immigrants pro bono in other matters where they may need your assistance. Immigrants need more than legal assistance with their immigration status. Many also need assistance with civil issues such as divorce, child support and custody, housing, tort, or other civil claims. If you are an attorney in the Hampton Roads region who would be open to these kinds of referrals, please reach out to us.
  4. Donating to the Immigration Clinic to help support our mission of providing access to quality counsel to immigrants in Hampton Roads. The Clinic is funded primarily by grants and private donations. Every donation–no matter the size–makes a difference for the Clinic.