Transformative Immigration Law & Policy


Limit: 8 students

Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so it is to your advantage to apply earlier rather than later. If you are selected to enroll, you will receive a notification by email that you may register for the course. Without professor approval you will be unable to register for the class.

This course engages students in conceptualizing, planning, and participating in the development of immigration legal policy. The course exposes students to aspects of legal practice beyond traditional case study, using a discrete issue of immigration policy and exploring its statutory, regulatory and constitutional parameters. Although the course revolves around an immigration law topic, it will be useful to any student interested in legal transformation. Students acquire lawyering skills through engaging the tools of change. These tools may include drafting practice advisories or policy briefs, contributing to litigation in the form of draft amicus briefs, writing an academic blog series, or commenting on proposed regulations and other vehicles for administrative policy-setting to initiate transformation in a legal regime. Depending on the semester’s topic, students may participate in meetings or events with immigration lawyers and leaders inside or outside of class. We will explore how nontraditional authority such as social science research contributes to change in legal regimes. The course will take a comprehensive approach to the issue, encouraging students to think in novel ways about how law evolves and what role lawyers can play in its evolution.

The course will require intensive writing with multiple drafts and revisions, and significant class preparation.

The course is limited to 8 students and satisfies the WIE requirement.

Immigration Law is recommended but not required.

Students must have the professor’s permission to register for the course. Please submit the following in an email to the Registrar’s Office at

  • A brief paragraph explaining why you want to participate in the course
  • An unofficial/informal transcript
  • A writing sample (if you submit your appellate brief from Lawyering, please submit only the portions you wrote)