The Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic

Elon University School of Law established the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic in December 2010, allowing students under the supervision of law faculty to provide free legal services to low-income refugees and asylum seekers in North Carolina.

Read a feature article about the clinic.

The Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic fills an urgent need in the Triad region, which receives more than a quarter of approximately 2,000 refugees resettled in North Carolina annually through the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. Legal services to refugees and those seeking asylum had been provided by Lutheran Family Services (LFS) for more than 20 years until LFS closed its Greensboro office on Sept. 30, 2010.

Naturalization Day PhotoApplicants for refugee or asylum status must demonstrate that they were persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, and must meet other legal criteria. The Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic assists clients in applying for political asylum, permanent residency, citizenship, and employment authorization, as well as reunifying families separated by war and conflict.

Under the supervision of law faculty, Elon Law students manage all aspects of refugee and asylee cases, meeting with clients, performing intake interviews, analyzing cases for legal remedy, gathering evidence, drafting and filing applications and briefs, and maintaining client correspondence. Students also observe and participate in hearings before federal administrative agencies and courts.

In recent years, refugees resettling in Guilford County have come from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Laos, Liberia, Somalia, and Sudan, among others.

Immigration Ceremony PhotoEach student participating in the clinic spends at least 107 hours per semester representing clients and 13 hours per semester in classes associated with the clinic. The clinic is housed in Elon Law’s Clinical Law Center at 210 West Friendly Avenue in Greensboro, N.C.

The North Carolina Refugee Assistance Program, part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, has selected the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic at Elon University School of Law to be an official program provider to refugees in the state for elderly citizenship and naturalization services.

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Contact Information

Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic
Elon University School of Law
P.O. Box 5848
Greensboro, NC 27435
Phone: (336) 279-9299
Fax: (336) 272-9667

Faculty and Staff