New York City Council Honors Law School’s Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic
April 25, 2012
In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Week, on April 18, 2012, the
New York City Council honored the Law School’s
Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic for outstanding service to
New York City’s immigrants. Council Member Daniel Dromm, Speaker
Christine Quinn and the entire City Council presented the Clinic
with a Proclamation stating, in part, that:
The Council of the City of New York is proud to honor the St.
John’s School of Law Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic for its
outstanding service to immigrants in New York City: and . . .
The St. John’s School of Law Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic
represents some of the neediest and most challenging cases before
the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Courts; and . .
The work of the Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic on these cases
is often groundbreaking and precedential, impacting immigration
cases not just in New York City but across the country: and . .
The Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic provides experiential
learning to law students, many of whom go on to serve as prominent
immigration attorneys and leading advocates for immigration reform;
. . .
C. Mario Russell and Mark R. vonSternberg, the Refugee and
Immigrant Rights Clinic is a full-year litigation clinic offered in
partnership with the Immigration Legal Services Department at Catholic Charities
in New York City. Under the supervision of senior attorneys,
students represent immigrants ― mostly refugees and asylees― in
trial proceedings at the administrative level, in the United States
Courts of Appeal, before USCIS and, occasionally, in family court.
Students also represent families, children and immigrant victims of
trafficking, domestic violence, and other crimes who seek to adjust
status and also unaccompanied minors who are in Department of
Homeland Security custody and who were victims of abuse or neglect
in their home countries.
“This is a tremendous and well deserved honor for our Refugee
and Immigrant Rights Clinic,” said
Ann L. Goldweber, the Law School’s Director of Clinical
Education. “Through their Clinic experience, our students gain
practical skills and valuable insight into real world legal
practice and public service that enhance their classroom learning.
At the same time, they live St. John’s Vincentian
mission of serving the underrepresented in our community.”
Associate Academic Dean
Margaret V. Turano added that “St. John’s students like to work
hard and do good work in the world, and our adjunct professors
Mario Russell and Mark vonSternberg guide them expertly along that
path.” The partnership with Catholic Charities is a mutually
beneficial one. “Our collaboration with St. John’s allows us to
reach more people in need of critical legal services,” said C.
Mario Russell. “We are looking forward to continuing the
relationship and we are honored by the recognition the Clinic
received from the New York City Council.”
For almost 60 years, Catholic Charities has helped thousands of
individuals and families in New York City live humane and
flourishing lives. It fulfills its mission of serving the basic
needs of the poor, troubled, weak and oppressed through activities
in five areas:
- Protecting and nurturing children and youth
- Strengthening families and resolving crises
- Supporting the physically and emotionally challenged
- Feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless
- Welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees
The Immigrant Legal Services Department of Catholic Charities
serves indigent and low-income immigrants and refugees throughout
metropolitan New York and at 14 satellite sites in its 10-county
To learn more about the Refugee and Immigrant Rights Clinic at St.
John’s School of Law, please
visit our website and