Vicente Lovelace - client, Vangie AbrielSanta Clara Law’s Immigration Appellate Practice Clinic has successfully completed a case that has been ongoing since 2019!

Four years ago, alongside Santa Clara Law students, Professor Evangeline Abriel worked with the U.S. Court of Appeals to grant their client relief from removal, based on his showing of probable persecution if he returned to his home country of Togo. Their case prevailed at the Ninth Circuit in 2019, where our clinic members wrote a brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Our students then acquired new evidence, and after presenting it to the Immigration Judge, recently obtained a ruling in their client’s favor.

While many law students have worked on this case over the past four years and others have served as interpreters and translators, Vicente Lovelace 3L is the current student who has worked hard to secure the ruling for this case. “The winning formula in effective advocacy is to read the record and know the law,” Lovelace notes. “Due to IAPC’s preparation, a years-long legal saga ended in less than 15 minutes.”

When asked what he did after the hearing, Abriel and Lovelace’s client responded that he had found a mosque, and had gone to it to give thanks. “I’m not religious, Lovelace says, “but I believe that there’s more to learn from his actions than my own.”

The Immigration Appellate Practice Clinic gives our students the opportunity to represent real clients under the supervision of our professors. Students consult with the client, review the administrative record, research the case, write the appellate briefs, and present oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals. 

Learn about the Immigration Appellate Practice Clinic.