Micah Allred and Nick Mohr, two members of Notre Dame Law School’s Class of 2022, helped a family from Nigeria win asylum this week.
They worked with their clients through the Law School’s National Immigrant Justice Center Externship, in which students prepare and present cases under the supervision of an immigration attorney.
Throughout the spring semester, Allred and Mohr prepared the family’s case through extensive identification and collection of evidence, and strong legal research and brief writing. When the asylum trial was scheduled in June, the recent graduates volunteered to continue working on the case — even as they were studying for the bar exam — and presented their arguments on behalf of the family at the Chicago Immigration Court. They convinced the government attorney that the case was legally sound, and she stipulated asylum relief for the family.
“Micah and Nick worked tenaciously and creatively to prepare this case over the course of the semester. They honored the goals and decisions of their clients, and enabled them to lead the process,” said Adjunct Professor Lisa Koop, who serves as national director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center.
“At the asylum trial, both the immigration judge and the government attorney recognized that strong preparation by Micah and Nick made the legal issues clear and demonstrated the family met the steep legal standard for asylum,” Koop said. “It was impressive to watch Nick and Micah develop as advocates; skills they will no doubt carry forward throughout their careers as attorneys.”
Allred and Mohr said the experience allowed them to gain an understanding and have hands-on experience with asylum and immigration law while helping a family in a desperate situation.
“Working on our case through the NIJC Externship was a great way to learn about and participate in work that changes lives and lifts people up every day,” Mohr said. “Immigration cases can be hard work, but Lisa was a wonderful professor who guided us through the process so that we could make sure our clients got the best result possible. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Allred said, “I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about our nation’s asylum laws by helping represent an asylum-seeking family in immigration court. This family demonstrated incredible peace and joy despite having suffered horrific persecution.”
This is the fourth asylum case that Notre Dame Law School students have won in the past two years through the NIJC Externship. The most recent case was decided in November 2021, when students Jacquelyn Aguirre and Elizabeth Wentross helped win asylum for a mother and daughter who were fleeing gender violence in Latin America.
Learn more about Notre Dame Law School’s externship opportunities.