Clinic Spotlight

Touro Law Center, in collaboration with CARECEN, the largest non-profit immigration law service provider on Long Island, recently spearheaded a pioneering initiative aimed at assisting vulnerable immigrant youth. In what is the first of its kind pro se clinic on Long Island, Touro Law students engaged in the crucial tasks of meeting, interviewing, and assisting children and potential guardians. The primary objective was to facilitate the submission of applications seeking the Family Court's intervention to secure adequate protections and initiate a pathway to lawful immigration status for the children.

Daniel Diaz, a student intern at Touro's Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, expressed the profound impact of his participation. He stated, "Being able to assist individuals through the guardianship clinic was not only a great learning experience but was also extremely rewarding. Many people in our communities seek assistance that has the potential to positively change their lives. Being part of this is truly special, and I hope more opportunities like this become available at Touro Law and other law schools."

With non-profit service providers operating beyond capacity and financial constraints hindering access to private legal representation, initiatives like the pro se clinic at Touro Law play a pivotal role in ensuring that these vulnerable individuals receive the legal assistance they need.
Andrea Madrid, CARECEN Supervising Attorney, highlighted the collaborative effort between CARECEN and Touro Law Center in addressing the needs of immigrant youth: "CARECEN partnered with Touro Law Center students to provide the first pro se guardianship clinic on Long Island to aid minors that are eligible for special immigrant juvenile status begin the guardianship process that will eventually lead them to seek immigration relief. Our mission was simple: help children access justice in the courts. Law students helped immigrant youth file guardianship self-petitions, and their attention and diligent work with the families was appreciated by all. They not only aided the families with the filings, but also gave the youth in attendance an example to look up to and at least one minor walked away enthusiastic in pursuing a law career in the future. That is the type of transformative work that we strive for, and we are grateful to Touro Law's future lawyers engaging in that work with us."

Mauricio Noroña, Touro Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic Director, commended the students for their impactful contributions. "It was fantastic to watch the clinic students put into practice the substantive and lawyering skills they have been learning in the classroom this semester. Most importantly, their work will have a significant impact on the lives of these children."

The event was co-sponsored by the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) and Public Interest Law Organization of Touro (PILOT).



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