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Heather Scavone leads workshops for Kenyan law schools

The director of Elon Law's Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic visited Nairobi for presentations on March 22-23, 2016, focused on her educational work and advocacy efforts in the United States. 

Assistant Professor Heather Scavone

Assistant Professor Heather Scavone, director of the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic at the Elon University School of Law, traveled to Kenya in March to speak with faculty and students at two law schools on clinical programs in legal education, and the constitutionality of civil detention in the United States.

Scavone visited Strathmore Law School in Nairoibi on March 22 for “Innovations in Clinical Legal Education: Structure and Design Considerations for New Clinical Programs,” a presentation that examined the structure and design choices for law school clinics.

Participants considered three existing clinical models as a starting point for discussion. Rather than try to determine a single superior model, the goal was to explore the many considerations that inform the choice of clinic design and assess the synergies and potential trade-offs associated with different models.

Scavone said she hoped to set the tone for earnest engagement with the challenges of trying to balance the multiple missions of law school clinics while working within institutional constraints.

On March 23, Scavone delivered “Civil Detention in the US: Constitutionally Sound or Uncivilized?” to an audience at Kenyatta University School of Law. The presentation shared information with participants about the practice of civil immigrant detention in the United States with a review U.S. obligations under both domestic and international law as they relate to the rights of individuals seeking protection from persecution.

Additionally, Scavone helped participants address the question of whether civil immigrant detention can be reconciled with the U.S. Constitution and with the UN Refugee Convention. Participants had an opportunity to ask Scavone about her recent experiences advocating for women and children detained in Karnes, Texas.

Scavone joined Elon University School of Law in 2010. The Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic she directs represents refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, parolees, certified victims of trafficking, and Iraqi/Afghani Special Immigrants with immigration benefits applications including adjustment of status, affirmative asylum, family reunification and naturalization.

Since the clinic’s creation in 2010, it has served more than 1,600 refugees and asylum seekers, making it one of North Carolina’s most prolific nonprofit immigration legal services providers.



Eric Townsend,
3/28/2016 9:40 AM