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This is a field where you can work with people from other cultures while learning about our nation’s immigration system by helping judges within the Department of Justice.— Vanessa R. Woodman de Lazo ’14

Immigration Law Concentration

Find your pathway!
Find your Pathway!

The work of immigration lawyers ranges from up close and personal assistance for families to policy considerations with global implications. Attorneys in this area of specialization aid individuals seeking residency and citizenship, often drawing on related expertise in housing, domestic violence, and criminal law, and are at the forefront of asylum and refugee issues, national security concerns, and cross-border human trafficking. They also provide counsel on visas and other employment law issues.

A variety of course options allows students to tailor their studies to specific interests and career goals. (Click on the Immigration Law Pathway to explore options.)  Real-law work experience is integrated through select clinical, fellowship, internship, and project opportunities, among other options. Students also have access to study abroad opportunities, related activities and events, specialized job listings, and faculty advisors with deep expertise.  Successful completion of concentration requirements is recognized on students’ law school transcripts.

Student Profiles

Vanessa Woodman de Lazo '14 Vanessa Woodman de Lazo '14.  Her hiring for the extremely competitive U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program demonstrates the law school’s excellent preparation. She is an attorney for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, based in San Diego.

Vanessa R. Woodman de Lazo ’14 came to New England Law intent on studying immigration law and after graduation was selected for a two-year position with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Attorney General’s Honors Program, the most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind. She will clerk in the San Diego Immigration Court.

"It is an extremely coveted job, and my immigration work at New England Law has really helped me in my career development," she says.

"I took two clinics, and those experiences really helped me gain the confidence I was looking for.  I interned with a business immigration law firm for one and with the Boston Immigration Court for the other. I developed a good network that way.

"This is a field where you can work with people from other cultures while learning about our nation’s immigration system by helping judges within the Department of Justice."


 

Manmeet Kaur Desai '14 Manmeet Kaur Desai ’14:  "I worked with individuals who had left their countries, and I saw how the law and their human rights were tied together."

Houston native and former high school teacher Manmeet Kaur Desai ’14 arrived at law school “wanting to affect change—to do something with international human rights.”  How she was going to do that crystallized when she attended the law school’s summer abroad program in Malta.  Not only did she get to meet Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., a guest lecturer that year, she also studied refugee and asylum law and worked with refugees in concert with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, in the Malta office. 

“It was international human rights law with a different spin,” she says. “I worked with individuals who had left their countries, and I saw how the law and their human rights were tied together. To see that vulnerability and their reliance on the law, that’s what attracted me.  I just knew I had to practice immigration law.”

After graduation, Desai began working as a legal associate for Attorney Jason Giannetti, a solo immigration law practitioner in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Immigration Law Opportunities at New England Law

Clinical program

Immigration Law groups

Immigration Law news and activities at New England Law

Immigration Law Concentration, Associated Faculty

Additional information