Gonzaga Law, Catholic Charities Collaborate to Open Immigration Clinic


October 14, 2019
Gonzaga News Service

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga Law School and Catholic Charities Eastern Washington have launched “The Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic at Gonzaga Law School.” The Clinic supports low-income individuals in need of immigration legal assistance and provides training to the next generation of immigration lawyers. Members of the local news media are invited to attend a reception on Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 5-6:15 p.m. at Gonzaga Law School to mark the inauguration of the Clinic and hear perspectives from the leaders of the effort.

The Clinic is addressing the significant unmet legal needs of immigrants and their families in the Spokane community.  In addition to providing critical representation for vulnerable, underserved individuals and families, the Clinic gives law students hands-on lawyering experience, supervised by faculty, to strengthen their immigration lawyering skills.

“This partnership gives the law school community a unique opportunity to practice the Jesuit ideals of collaboration, educating agents of change, and serving the poor and marginalized in our community,” said Jacob Rooksby, dean of Gonzaga Law School.  “The Clinic collaboration speaks directly to the Jesuit leadership’s recent call to expand advocacy on behalf of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.”

The Clinic is housed within University Legal Assistance (ULA), Gonzaga’s public-serving law clinic.

Second- and third-year law students staffing the Clinic advocate for clients under the direction of a supervising attorney. These students began serving eligible clients this fall with pro bono representation primarily in the areas of family reunification, humanitarian-based visas, and naturalization assistance.  

“I’m thrilled to join Gonzaga in finding creative, new ways to serve our immigrant neighbors. This is a unique collaboration between a Catholic Charities organization and a Catholic university in the area of immigration legal services in the United States,” said Rob McCann, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “God calls us to go to the margins to serve the vulnerable, and our partnership means we can bring more resources and providers to this underserved group.”

Gonzaga University and Catholic Charities are pleased to announce this collaboration on Indigenous People’s Day as a reminder that America is a nation of immigrants, continually strengthened by those who come from other parts of the world to join us.

About University Legal Assistance

University Legal Services (ULA) is a non-profit law firm that provides legal advice, representation and counseling without charge to low-income community members. ULA is located in Gonzaga University School of Law and cases are handled by second- and third-year law students under the direct supervision of attorneys. Currently, ULA offers clinics in business law, elder law, environmental and land use law, federal tax law, Indian law, and immigration law.

About Catholic Charities Eastern Washington

Catholic Charities Eastern Washington affirms the dignity of our most vulnerable neighbors by offering collaborative and innovative solutions to the complex challenges facing Eastern Washington. Carrying forth Christ’s love, we respond in crisis to ease the suffering of individuals and families, stabilize lives by connecting clients to their communities and advocate in hope to help people make progress in their own lives. 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Gonzaga University
Mary Joan Hahn | (509) 313-6095 | hahn@gonzaga.edu

Catholic Charities Eastern Washington
Sarah Yerden | (509) 438-1198 | sarah.yerden@cceasternwa.org