Clinic Program Update

family and Immgrant justice clinicThere have been some recent changes in the clinical programs at the College of Law this semester. A new clinic, the Family and Immigrant Justice Clinic (FIJC) has been created as a hybrid clinic, replacing the existing Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic and the merging it with family and domestic violence based immigration cases that were previously housed in the International Human Rights Clinic. The main focus of the FIJC, is to work with organizations and individuals on projects and cases that aim to advance justice for victims of gender-based violence both at home and abroad.

Students in the Clinic will continue to represent low-income victims of gender-based violence in traditional areas of family law, including: divorce, custody, termination of parental rights, and court appointed guardian ad litem cases. Additionally, they will represent low-income victims of gender-based violence and family violence in the immigration area, including immigrant petitions under the Violence Against Women Act, U visas for victims of crime and T visas for victims of human trafficking, domestic violence-based asylum claims, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petitions for children fleeing family violence in their country of origin.

The FIJC is part of the College of Law’s family law, immigration law, and international law curriculum. Through taking on direct representation and advocacy work in addition to participation in a critical skills-based seminar, students in the Clinic continue to gain practical experience, advanced client-counseling techniques, and integrate public service in their practice skills. Students are also able to effectively examine and engage in local, national, and global efforts to combat gender-based violence and discrimination.

The merger of the clinical components seemed a natural fit since so many of the cases in the former clinics had overlapping features and similarities in their caseloads. Through participation the FIJC, students will come out with a globally-informed skill-set allowing them to effectively represent more clients in their general practice once they embark on their careers.

The FIJC is supervised by Professor Suzie Pritchett.  Pritchett joined the law faculty in 2012 and has become a passionate advocate for immigrant justice throughout the state of Wyoming. In addition to representing hundreds of non-citizens with law students through the Clinical Programs, Professor Pritchett is also a strong advocate for victims of gender-based violence. She is on the Board of Directors for the Albany County SAFE Project and a regular contributor to the Wyoming Humanities Council. Most recently she was honored for her pro bono services as the “Champion of Justice” by the Wyoming State Bar Association.

The International Human Rights Clinic, which is operating as a practicum during the 2017-18 academic year, remains a part of the Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy. Students opting to participate, will continue to work on international and domestic cases under the Direction of Professor Noah Novogrodsky, the Director of the Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy.