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Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles LGBT Center to Launch Legal Lifeline

Tess FeldmanTess FeldmanSouthwestern Law School is collaborating with the Los Angeles LGBT Center in launching the Asylum Law Clinic to better equip future lawyers in providing legal support to asylum seekers in the LGBTQIA+ community.

"The Asylum Law Clinic is a huge step in training law students to advocate effectively for marginalized groups," said Andrea Ramos, director of Southwestern’s Immigration Law Clinic. "Our curriculum emphasizes both the knowledge and compassion needed for impactful legal representation and advocacy."

Southwestern Professor John Heilman, who has a long history of connecting his students with the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Legal Services Department, initiated the collaboration with Tess Feldman and others at the center.

"Our primary goals are to empower students and integrate trauma-informed community lawyering into their practice," said Feldman, an attorney at the center and instructor for the Asylum Law Clinic. "By the end of the program, students will be ready to represent asylum seekers before immigration judges and asylum officers across the United States."

The clinic opens in the fall with four students who will assist with asylum applications and other legal matters such as employment authorization documents, travel permits, DACA applications, and adjustment of status applications for those granted asylum.

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