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As a critical part of our mission, The CHRC looks to involve others who are passionate about advancing efforts to understand, protect and apply the human rights of children. We invite students, faculty, and staff from Loyola and surrounding universities to become involved with research projects, events, and other initiatives. The CHRC also frequently offers fellowship and internship opportunities, to support various endeavors in this field.

Course Offerings

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 (Section 001)
Instructor: Katherine Kaufka Walts, kkaufkawalts@luc.edu, Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola School of Law; Sarah Diaz, JD, LLM, Associate Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola School of Law

Practicum Description:

Immigration law is one of the most fast-changing and rewarding areas of legal practice. An increase in detention and deportation, forced family separation, termination of DACA and subsequent litigation, restricting refugees and asylees entry, and ever increasing restrictions on obtaining lawful status are just a few of the contemporary issues this class will address. While other justice systems have made adjustments to their policies and practice in the face of COVID-19, US immigration courts are still open and the detention system is running “business as usual,” making immigrants and stakeholders working within the system more vulnerable.

The classroom component (Section 001) will focus on strategies and tactics to protect and advance the rights of immigrant children and families in this context. Law and policy will be the focus, but the course will also introduce students to innovative interdisciplinary approaches to enhance and improve legal skills and advocacy. This course provides student an opportunity to conduct real-time, project-based work, while learning substantive law. This practicum course has a classroom component (Section 1) and an optional fieldwork/externship component (Section 2) to develop deeper knowledge and experience in immigration law. Course assignments will include legal research, writing, interviewing clients, legal practice, and policy.

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. 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 off-site experiential component, please email Katherine Kaufka Walts, Clinical Faculty of Law, at kkaufkawalts@luc.edu.

Immigration Law Practicum Goals and Skills

  1. Contextualize contemporary immigration policies and laws within historical, racial, and political contexts.
  2. Provide students foundational knowledge of immigration law, with a focus on current policies and practices affecting families and children.
  3. Provide students an opportunity to conduct research, writing, and policy project-based work on contemporary issues affecting children and families. Projects may change by semester.
  4. Provide students an understanding of how immigration law intersects with other types of law, including civil rights, human rights, criminal law, family law, and health law.
  5. Provide students a place where students can get answers to their immigration-related questions and experience. 

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

  • Interview clients using trauma, culturally, and developmentally informed practices;
  • Issue spot and identify opportunities for immigration relief for prospective clients, both adults and minors; and
  • Draft documents used for policy, outreach/education, and memorandums to assist partners with litigation.

Fall 2020 Immigration Law Practicum Enrollment Information:

Please register for Law 470-001 (Section 1). Instructor permission is not required to enroll, but space is limited.

If you are interested in additional experiential learning/externship credits as part of the practicum, please register for Law 470—002/Section 2. You must be registered for Law 470-001 to receive experiential credits under 470-002.  Instructor permission is not required. Please contact Prof. Katherine Kaufka Walts at kkaufkawalts@luc.edu for information about placement sites ASAP

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
Contact: kkaufkawalts@luc.edu

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.

Student Opportunities

Children’s Rights Law Scholars Program

The Children’s Rights Law Student Scholars program is an academic year-long internship opportunity with the CHRC for a Loyola School of Law student (2L-3L). This competitive scholarship program provides a Loyola University Chicago Law School student with $7,500 in tuition remission for the academic year and an internship opportunity (12-15 hours per week) at the CHRC.   

The program provides an academic opportunity for graduate-level students to be trained in research and advocacy that promotes the human rights of children.  Scholars will become familiar with current children’s rights policies and laws, issues, and develop and identify strategies to ensure the protection of children.

Application Deadline: April 17, 2020

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Children’s Rights Summer Legal Research & Policy Internship

The CHRC is seeking a part-time law student to assist with policy analysis and research addressing contemporary issues facing children in the United States and internationally, including child trafficking and issues facing child migrants. Duties and responsibilities will include working with the Center Director to analyze current and pending policies, identify and analyze research (legal and social science), respond to policies, legislation, develop briefs and other publications related to the issue. This internship is an excellent opportunity to work on an issue that has both national and international impact addressing the rights of trafficked children.

Application Deadline: April 17, 2020

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Student Office Coordinator Position

The Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC) seeks a part-time-time Office Coordinator. This position requires that the individual provide administrative and programming support to CHRC, and collaboratively support Loyola University Chicago’s broader mission. The position is part-time, 20 hours a week, $18/hour. The position will require work to be performed remotely, until the School of Law building is open. The position reports directly to CHRC Director, Katherine Kaufka Walts.

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