WHAT IS IMMIGRATION LAW?
Immigration law involves issues related to immigration (leaving one country to live in another) and naturalization (becoming a citizen). The federal government has exclusive control over United States immigration issues. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is part of the Department of Justice, under the direction of the Attorney General. Hearings concerning immigration matters are conducted by immigration judges in an administrative court system. The immigration court is supervised by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, another part of the Department of Justice.
Business immigration work involves assisting domestic and international corporations in transferring noncitizen employees from foreign offices to the United States and hiring noncitizens as employees for U.S. corporate offices. Attorneys practicing in this area may work for a small boutique, mid-sized, or large law firm.
Personal or family immigration work is usually done by smaller firms, and indigent individuals with immigration concerns often turn to public interest lawyers who specialize in immigration.
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING PURSUING A CAREER IN IMMIGRATION LAW...
1. Take an immigration course in law school, and consider taking courses in administrative law, legislation, and/or constitutional law to become a well-rounded student of the law.
2. Get involved with community organizations that do work related to immigration.
3. While in law school, work for a government agency, public interest organization, or law firm that focuses on immigration issues.
4. Consider a non-judicial externship with an organization that focuses on immigration issues, such as the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.
5. Become a part of the Chicago network of immigration lawyers by getting involved with the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section Committee on Immigration Law or the American Bar Association's Commission on Immigration.
6. Get to know Loyola's professors specializing in immigration law - Margaret McCormick and The Honorable Robert D. Vinikoor.
IMMIGRATION LAW RESOURCES