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Seminar is at the forefront of immigration law

Elon Law’s fifth annual Immigration Law Seminar featured nationally prominent lawyers, scholars and federal agency leaders exploring cutting-edge issues in immigration law. 

Three of the presenters at Elon Law’s fifth annual Immigration Law Seminar were Jack Weil, assistant chief immigration judge for vulnerable populations, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (second from left); Lindsay Harris, fellow, American Immigration Counsel (center); and Barbara Hines, senior fellow, Emerson Collective (third from right). They are pictured with Heather Scavone, assistant professor of law and director, Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, Elon Law (third from left) and Elon Law alumni Allison Lukanich L’12 (left), Devon Johnson L’15 (second from right) and Ben Snyder L’12 (right). 

The seminar welcomed a full capacity audience comprised of more than 130 immigration law attorneys and immigration services leaders who heard presentations about new procedures for the protection of both immigrant survivors of domestic violence and unrepresented detainees with mental disorders, new issues in immigrant family detention, and legal issues at the intersection of immigration law and the U.S. military.

Rachel Winkler, immigration law analyst, Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, speaks with attendees following her presentation at Elon Law’s fifth annual immigration law seminar, July 31.

Following welcoming remarks by Heather Scavone, assistant professor of law and director of Elon Law’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, the seminar included the following topics and speakers:

  • Immigration Law and the US Military; Margaret Stock, Esq., Counsel to the Firm at Cascadia Cross-Border Law, Anchorage, Alaska
  • The Executive Office for Immigration Review’s Implementation of Enhanced Procedural Protections for Unrepresented Detained Respondents with Mental Disorders; Hon. Jack Weil, Assistant Chief Immigration Judge for Vulnerable Populations, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review
  • Recent Developments in Family Detention; Barbara Hines, Esq., Senior Fellow, Emerson Collective
  • Protection for Survivors of Domestic Violence after A-R-C-G-; Lindsay Harris, Esq., Fellow with the American Immigration Counsel
  • Update from the Ombudsman—2015 Annual Report; Rachel Winkler, Esq., Immigration Law Analyst, Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman
Several Elon Law alumni and students attended the fifth annual Immigration Law Seminar and shared insights, including clockwise from top left: Jessica Yañez L'11, Gabriel Zeller L'12, Angelique Ryan, Class of 2016, and Ben Snyder L'12.

Several Elon Law alumni in attendance reflected on the value of the seminar.

“For immigration law practitioners in North Carolina, this may be the best annual CLE,” said Jessica Yañez L’11, attorney at Yañez Immigration Law in Greensboro, N.C. “I really appreciate the caliber of the speakers from across the country that Elon pulls together for this event.”

“I liked the presentations because I got information that gave me ideas for ways to help more than one of my actual clients,” said Gabriel Zeller L’12, whose law firm in Reidsville, N.C., includes a focus on immigration law.

“My interest in immigration was sparked at Elon Law, in immigration, refugee and asylum courses, but especially in the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic,” said Ben Snyder L’12, attorney with the Charlotte Immigration Law Firm. “The clinic was the first opportunity in my career to actually work hands-on with clients who were refugees and immigrants in need. That experience sent me on a path that I don’t see myself diverging from any time soon. This year, as with every year that I attend this seminar, I gained new tools that can help with my practice and my clients. This year especially, I appreciated new information related to immigration and the military. That information gave me some ideas of suggestions for clients and how to assist them in their cases. That’s consistently the case every year. I learn new information to help my clients. In addition, I appreciate that the seminar helps me keep an ongoing relationship with Elon Law.”

Margaret Stock, counsel, Cascadia Cross-Border Law, a firm located in Anchorage, Alaska, presents at Elon Law's fifth annual Immigration Law Seminar. 

Elon Law student Angelique Ryan works in the law school’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic. She spoke about the seminar as another dimension of Elon Law’s approach to legal learning through a mix of courses, experiences and engagement with leading attorneys in practice.

“As a result of my work in both the clinic and externship experiences with the Public Defender’s office here in Guilford County, I’ve been able to build specialized knowledge and skills in the area of ‘crimmigration,’ law practice at the intersection of criminal law and immigration law,” Ryan said. “Professor Scavone has helped me connect the dots between criminal defendants who have sensitive immigration status and their need for special representation and unique legal counsel.”

More information about the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic at Elon Law is available here. 


Philip Craft,
8/2/2015 10:50 AM