By Azza Ben Moussa and Lorenzo Murillo, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law
During the latest Breakfast with the Bar event on the topic of immigration law, students in attendance networked with local immigration attorneys and discussed a variety of immigration issues, as well as the day-to-day work of immigration attorneys.
The attorneys in attendance discussed the ever-changing nature of immigration law and some of the difficulties that arise with changes in presidential administrations. Additionally, the immigration attorneys who deal predominately with employment-based immigration issues discussed some of the issues that they face explaining to their clients, typically the employers, why and how changes in governmental policy affect them directly. The attorney panel also told the students how they ended up practicing immigration law and what motivated them to remain in the field. Most of the attorneys had some personal life experiences that directly related to immigration issues and that was what led to their decision to practice in the field.
Some of the other advice the attorneys provided for students looking to pursue a career in immigration law included: (1) joining organizations, such as immigration and/or criminal defense groups to stay updated on case law and other alerts that might impact immigration; and (2) reaching out to attorneys that practice in the field you’re interested in is a great way to not only network but to also get insight into what working in that field looks like outside the classroom setting; and (3) understanding that immigration law practice often times requires learning how to communicate and recognize cultural differences to best serve your client’s interests.
For any students interested in practicing immigration law, we would recommend taking an immigration law class. For students at IU McKinney, we would strongly recommend becoming involved in the Immigration Law Clinic which provides law students with the opportunity to represent individuals facing legal immigration issues.