The Immigration Law Clinic has served clients throughout the region, including foreign citizens who need help with immigration proceedings such as deportation, asylum and residency issues since 1996. The clinic serves foreign citizens who need help with immigration proceedings, including deportation and asylum, and residency issues.
The Clinic has won political asylum for clients from Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and Guinea, often pushing the law creatively in circumstances related to today’s most pressing issues, such as gender persecution, social turmoil during democratic transition, and conflict in the Middle East.
The West Virginia University Immigration Law Clinic has introduced students to service learning in a growing area of the law. In fact, they are often the only source of help in a field where the government severely restricts legal assistance to those who cannot afford to pay.
Professor Jim Friedberg founded that project at the urging of his international law and human rights students as a volunteer pro bono undertaking. The next year, he turned the project into a clinical course, as a follow-on to his immigration law lecture.
Almost from its inception, nationally known immigration attorney Robert S. Whitehill, a partner at Fox Rothschild law firm in Pittsburgh, has helped lead the clinic.
Co-curricular activities related to the clinic have included such prominent immigration specialists as former INS General Counsel Paul Virtue, Georgetown law professor Philip Schrag, and internationally known author and practitioner Ira Kurzban.
Several clinic students spent a week in Wisconsin helping Afghans resettle in the United States. They worked at a U.S. government facility assisting hundreds of Afghans who had fled their country following the fall of Kabul. The Afghans were allowed emergency entry into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons or because of their service during the 20-year Afghanistan War.