On Feb. 9-10, the University of Tennessee College of Law hosted a planning conference for Alternative Spring Break 2012. The conference was attended by students from the University of Tennessee, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and the University of Mississippi School of Law. The purpose of the conference was to plan and coordinate a pro bono project that the three law schools are working on together in partnership with Community Legal Center (CLC) in Memphis. From March 5-23, the law schools will work with CLC’s immigrant justice project on preparing and processing temporary visas for refugees seeking asylum from domestic violence or civil unrest. Because the spring breaks of each law school fall on different weeks, the schools will be able to start and complete several visa cases over the course of the three weeks by sending students to CLC every day during the three week period. This is a fantastic opportunity for the schools to work together and demonstrate a sense of region-wide community and commitment to access to justice.
The students collaborated on topics ranging from ideas to generate more region-wide cooperative projects to specific ideas for increasing student participation in pro bono efforts. Many great and practical ideas were generated as a result of the meeting at the University of Tennessee. The law schools are already planning to invite additional schools and make the conference an annual event.
In addition to the attendance of the students, attorney Alicia Triche, who heads up the Immigrant Justice Project at Community Legal Center, attended the conference to offer guidance and training on issues related to assisting victims of domestic violence obtain temporary visas in the United States. In addition to working with the students in preparing for the immigration project, Triche also spoke at UT Law on the history and practicalities of asylum law.
For more information on the Alternative Spring Break program, visit law.utk.edu.