Course Offerings

Law 470, Immigration Law Practicum

Course Logistics:
Location: Corboy School of Law, Room 1201
August 15  - December 1, 2020, CLC,
Tuesday, 5:30-7:30 pm, Room 305
Instructor: Katherine Kaufka Walts,

Practicum Description:

Immigration law is one of the most complex, fast changing, and rewarding areas of legal practice. The goal of this course is to teach the current realities of immigration law and policy as experienced in practice, and to demonstrate the civil and human rights issues impacted by immigration law and policy. This practicum course has a classroom component (Section 1) and an optional fieldwork component (Section 2).

Law 470, Section 1 (470-001, 2 credits): The class meets formally two hours per week in the evening to cover substantive immigration law issues and to develop skills tailored to the practice of both immigration law practice and advocacy, with an emphasis on families and children. Permission is NOT required to register for this section.

The fall course provides foundational knowledge across a broad area of immigration law and policy. Topics include family-based petitions, representing victims of crime and human trafficking, unaccompanied minors, persons fleeing persecution, providing trauma informed services, intersection of family law and immigration law, and deportation defense. The spring course emphasizes advocacy and litigation skills via readings and in-class simulations. These simulations include community presentations and community organizing, bond hearing, asylum hearing, and credible fear interviews in immigration court. One course is NOT required to take the other. Both courses emphasize practical skills via simulations, exercises, and role-plays.

Law 470, Section 2 (470-002, 1-2 credits) Students seeking additional experiential learning credit as part of the practicum are expected to work at their extern field placement site a minimum of 55 hours in order to earn 1 academic credit hour, or 110 hours in order to earn 2 academic credit hours. Students are expected to apply for field placements. The instructor(s) will provide students registered for Section-002 a list of local field placements sites related to immigration law. Students are expected to apply on their own, with guidance from instructor(s). If interested in the field work component, please email Katherine Kaufka Walts, Clinical Faculty of Law, at

Immigration Law Practicum Goals and Skills

  1. Provide students foundational knowledge of immigration law, with a focus on the impact on families and children.
  2. Provide examples of the practical realities of practicing immigration law in various environments – government, non-governmental organization, and private practice, as well as large firms, non-profits, and community organizations.
  3. Contextualize contemporary immigration policies and laws within historical, racial, and political contexts.
  4. Interview clients using trauma and culturally informed practices;
  5. Provide students an understanding of how immigration law intersects with other types of law, including criminal, family, health, employment, and housing.
  6. Provide students a place where students can get answers to their immigration-related questions and additional academic background that directly pertains to their immigration placements.

Students will be able to (via both the class and field placement) learn the following skills:

  • Issue spot and identify opportunities for immigration relief for prospective clients, both adults and minors;
  • Prepare exhibits for USCIS and EOIR (Immigration Court)

Human Trafficking in the United States: Special Issues Concerning Children

Law 249-001; SOSW 634-002
Fall 2020, Loyola University Chicago
Course time: Wednesdays, 12:00 – 2pm, CLC 1201
Instructor: Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD 

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore legal, social, and practical issues confronting children who are survivors of human trafficking within the United States, as well as an examination of efforts to prevent human trafficking via a children’s rights framework.  The seminar will begin with an overview of contemporary laws and policies addressing human trafficking, and explore various frameworks (gender, criminal justice, public health) around movements to combat child trafficking. The students will then analyze current research in the field, and explore case management, services, and techniques utilized by both legal and social service providers. Assignment and exercises (both in and out of class) will include mock interviews, critical analysis of legislation, and a complete a final project addressing ways to advance the movement to combat child in the United States.  Scholars and practitioners in the field will provide occasional guest lectures. The seminar is open to law students and graduate level social work students.

Immigration Detention Project - Spring Break 2020

Information sessions (Room Assignment: 1102 on both dates)

  • Thursday, Nov 14 from 9-10am
  • Monday, Nov 18, 3-4p

For more information and application, click here.