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Human Rights and Immigration Law Project

The Human Rights and Immigration Law Project (HRILP), directed by Professor Dina Francesca Haynes, provides a variety of ways for students to become involved in immigration, refugee and asylum, migration, and human rights based work. Each project offers unique experiences, allowing students to find a niche that fits them. New projects are announced and students are selected competitively, based on interest, experience, and availability to work on the particular project. The HRILP is presently involved in three different types of ongoing projects. 

Professor Haynes with students

HRILP Project 1: Assistance to area firms with pro bono asylum cases

The HRILP allows students to help provide legal advice and case support to alumni who have taken on pro bono asylum or refugee work.

  • Students worked on an amicus brief, available here, which overturned a lower court decision on female genital mutilation.
  • The HRILP worked with an attorney and a New England Law graduate, now with Bingham McCutchen LLP, on a Tibetan asylum case.
  • Students worked with two local attorneys on two asylum cases, one involving religious persecution and other a woman taken as a sex slave by rebel groups.

Project 2: Combating Human Trafficking

The HRILP is focused on combating human tracking by working with the Massachusetts Human Trafficking Task Force.

  • Presently, the HRILP is working to understand, summarize, and formulate an approach to the 2008 reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act for Massachusetts law enforcement, federal area law enforcement, federal area agencies, and state based victim services providers.

Project 3: Human Rights, Refugee, and Migration Field Work

The HRILP is devoted to creating ongoing opportunities for students to work abroad on issues related to human rights, refugee and asylum law, and migration and immigration issues.

  • A student studied abroad in Zacatecas, Mexico, working with migrant workers on accessing their labor, immigration, and human rights.
  • A student doing the Malta study aboard program through New England Law’s consortium program worked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Valletta.
  • In a very competitive process, the ILP put forward a New England Law student who was selected to spend the summer in Kenya working with refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, and the Congo.

The ILP offers a hands-on approach to immigration work, which allows students to gain crucial field experience and apply classroom lessons by assisting real people with needs, while supplementing the students' classroom education with experiential learning opportunities.

If you are interested in working with the ILP, look for future calls for student volunteers.

Past HRILP volunteers

  • Tristan R. Brown, Class of 2015
  • Alexandra B. Eschner, Class of 2015
  • Nicole O. Fink, Class of 2015
  • Long V. Nguyen, Class of 2015
  • Carleigh S. Baldwin, Class of 2014
  • Sara E. Burns, Class of 2014
  • Ericka A. McFee, Class of 2014
  • Hadee B. Khan, Class of 2013
  • Erica N. Miller, Class of 2013
  • Blaire E. Patrick, Class of 2013
  • Katlyn A. Andolina, Class of 2012
  • Laura Donohue, Class of 2012
  • Adelina E. Janiak, Class of 2012
  • Aleksandra MagdziaLopes, Class of 2012
  • Alexandra L. Piscionere, Class of 2012
  • Lindsey S. Weller, Class of 2012
  • Olya Chervatyuk, Class of 2011
  • Mary Chicorelli, Class of 2011
  • Katie Duffy, Class of 2011
  • Katie Lynch, Class of 2011
  • Jennifer Abbott, Class of 2010
  • Evelyn Huang, Class of 2010
  • Rochelle Meddoff, Class of 2010
  • Andrew Pawelski, Class of 2010
  • Victoria Turner, Class of 2010
  • Erin Brown, Class of 2009
  • Ellen Houseal, Class of 2009
  • Eve Indradat, Class of 2009
  • Stephanie Kul, Class of 2009
  • Angela Santoro, Class of 2009
  • Mark Scialdone, Class of 2009
  • Ashley Edens, Class of 2008
  • Laura Nazzaro, Class of 2008
  • Abby Peterson, Class of 2008
  • Susan Walton, Class of 2008