Mission: The New American Legal Clinic will prepare SJCL students for the practice of law, in any area of law, through a comprehensive experiential learning model while promoting SJCL’s dynamism, serving the needs of our local community and encouraging immigrant integration.

Need for Services

There is an overwhelming need for immigration services in the Central Valley. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, Between 1970 and 2009, the number of California residents born abroad increased more than fivefold, from 1.8 million to almost 10 million. Many of these immigrants, have become naturalized U.S. citizens (46%). However, most of the immigrants who become naturalized reside in the large urban centers of Northern and Southern California where they have access to information and support to effectively navigate the immigration process. Accordingly, the United States Citizen and Immigration Service and the Department of Homeland Security have identified Fresno as city in great need for qualified practitioners in the area of immigration law.

Serving the Community

The main purpose of the Clinic is to serve the needs of the immigrant population as it relates to their desire to immigrate legally to the United States. The Clinic will provide information and counseling to members of the immigrant population as to their current status with the ultimate goal of attaining citizenship. The Clinic will also be prepared to seek legal status for the most vulnerable of our population, victims of violent crimes including domestic violence.

The Clinic will also support the foundation of the Central Valley, the agricultural sector, by assisting immigrants in obtaining legal status to enable lawful employment.

Building on SJCL’s Legacy

SJCL was founded with the mission to educate and develop individuals to become highly skilled attorneys and problem solvers who will benefit their communities through public and private service. The Immigration Law Clinic will prepare students for all aspects of civic participation, legal or non-legal. With an emphasis on gaining hands-on experience in the practice of law, Clinic students will also develop advanced problem solving skills, communication techniques and professional abilities that will lead to them be effective and efficient leaders in their communities and chosen pursuits.