“I would like to … thank you for your kind assistance in making my dream come true and appreciate your professional skill. It’s unforgettable. I will always be grateful and remember it.” -Z.H. (Ethiopia), granted asylum, children granted derivative asylum
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The Gould School of Law Immigration Clinic is staffed by law students, faculty, and staff and provides free legal representation to adults and children from all over the world, including Mexico, Central and South America, and Africa.
The Immigration Clinic consists of two teaching clinics and two direct service programs. Second and third year Gould students enrolled in the Removal Defense Clinic and the Immigration Detention and Appellate Clinic represent clients under the supervision of faculty and staff attorneys. Most of the cases involve applications for asylum, protection under the Convention Against Torture, and other humanitarian forms of relief. Students represent their clients before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Many of our clients are detained in ICE detention centers in Southern California and elsewhere. A significant number of our clients are LGBTQ asylum seekers.
The Immigration Clinic’s two direct service projects are the USC Gould Immigrant Legal Assistance Center (ILAC) and the USC Citizenship Initiative.
All legal services provided by the Immigration Clinic are free of charge. Our students and staff speak multiple languages, including Spanish, Farsi, Sinhalese, and conversational Italian, and we rely on volunteer interpreters to supplement our capacity and for other languages when needed.
The USC Community Citizenship Initiative encourages and assists people to become U.S. citizens by providing free legal assistance in completing the naturalization application and, if needed, by providing free English and Civics classes to USC staff. Free legal assistance is available to members of the public and USC staff, contract staff, students, faculty. Since 2016, we have helped more than 200 lawful permanent residents become U.S. citizens. The Citizenship Initiative is supported and funded by the Office of the Provost, the State of California Department of Social Services, and the USC Gould School of Law.
The USC Gould Immigrant Legal Assistance Center (ILAC) provides free, confidential consultations, legal assistance, and referrals to members of the USC Trojan Family, students, staff members, contract employees, faculty and family members, who may be at risk of deportation, who may be eligible to apply for immigration status, or who have questions about their legal status and legal rights under the immigration laws. The Legal Assistance Center is supported by the Office of the Provost and USC Gould School of Law.
ATTENTION USC DACA RECIPIENTS: Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting initial DACA applications, DACA renewals are currently being processed. The USC Immigrant Legal Assistance Center offers renewal application assistance free of charge. USC Office of Religious Life will pay the $495 renewal filing fee for current USC students. We recommend that anyone with DACA seek legal consultation regardless of when your DACA status expires. Contact our office to schedule a free and confidential consultation with our staff attorneys by emailing email@example.com or calling 213-740-0497.