The Rutgers Immigrant Justice Clinic represents low-income South Jersey residents in immigration matters, focusing primarily on removal defense and representation of victims of crime. The clinic does not handle family-based or employment-based immigration matters. Legal assistance is provided by law students acting under the supervision of a licensed attorney. This clinic is at our Camden location.
If you need legal services, call the clinic at (856) 225-6568
Many of the clinic’s cases last for years, so the clinic has very limited capacity to take new cases each year. When new cases are accepted, it is typically in mid-August and mid-December, before the start of each semester.
If you are interested in finding out if the Immigrant Justice Clinic might be able to help you in your immigration matter, please call (856) 225-6568. If someone is not available when you call please leave a message. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, and French, and interpreters are available in a wide range of other languages. Your call will be returned during the hours of 9 am and 4 pm, usually within 2 business days of your phone call. Please include in your message whether it is ok to leave a message at your phone number.
Joanne Gottesman, Clinic Director
Joanne Gottesman directs the Immigrant Justice Clinic, a student-led law office that represents clients in immigration matters. She practiced housing and immigration law at the Legal Aid Society in New York and her areas of expertise include child migration, U.S. Immigration policy and poverty law. Before attending law school she lived and worked in China for three years.
Sondra Furcajg, Staff Attorney
Sondra is a Staff Attorney with the Immigrant Justice Clinic at Rutgers Law School where she provides immigration representation to children in abuse, neglect or abandonment cases and in cases where they have been the victim of a crime. Before that, Sondra launched the immigrant legal services program at United African Organization, a community-based organization in Chicago. Sondra earned a Master of International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law from the Université Paris II, and an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law. A native speaker of French and English who is also proficient in Spanish, Sondra has interned with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania and has worked as an HIV/AIDS Prevention and Outreach Volunteer in Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana.
- Clinic Description and Goals
- Pre or co-requisites
- Who Should Take this Clinic?
The Immigrant Justice Clinic (“IJC”) based in Camden is both a law school course and a student staffed law office that represents members of the New Jersey immigrant community in humanitarian immigration matters. Clinic students may also engage in outreach and advocacy aimed at increasing understanding and awareness of immigrant issues in the criminal justice, child welfare, and domestic violence systems in New Jersey.
IJC students will experience what it is like to be an attorney by taking primary responsibility for all aspects of their clients’ cases, including interviewing and counseling clients, legal research and writing, strategic and ethical decision making, and any court appearances. This is all done in a setting with a small student-faculty ratio under the close supervision of an experienced clinical professor.
In addition to weekly supervision meetings, the IJC also involves a twice-weekly seminar focusing on substantive immigration law and lawyering skills.
Students must have successfully completed all of their first-year required courses. Students must also have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Professional Responsibility. Immigration & Citizenship Law is not required, but is recommended.
Because immigration proceedings are federal administrative proceedings and are not governed by the New Jersey Student Practice Rule, 2L students may fully engage in all aspects of their cases including any appearances before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”).
All students are welcome in the Immigrant Justice Clinic. Some students are committed to careers in immigration law, but many others enroll to gain practical experience, to better understand their family’s immigration history, or to learn in a hands-on way about the laws and policies at the center of current political debates around immigration.