David Koelsch

David Koelsch

David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic and the Asylum Law Clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The Immigration Law Clinic represents immigrants on a variety of legal issues, including abandoned immigrant children and abused immigrant women. Professor Koelsch also teaches U.S. Immigration Law and a comparative U.S.-Canada Immigration Law course as well as a Seminar on Spirituality and the Law. Koelsch was named the 2009 Outstanding Immigration Law Professor by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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David Koelsch's Blog

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 13 March 2013
in Faculty Blogs
"Life's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."  This is a somewhat dated reference but the immortal lines uttered by Forrest Gump could equally be applied to work in the Immigration Law Clinic.  At least once each week, students leave the Law School to go out into the community to meet with real people and try to see if we can fix their legal issues.  Last night, we were out in Southwest Detroit at a lo...
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Blog Entry 19

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Monday, 05 November 2012
in Faculty Blogs
Good things are happening at the Immigration Law Clinic.  We had a pretty active term with seven individual hearings, fifteen master calendar hearings, eighteen applications for relief filed (including four extensive asylum claims, a T visa petition, and three citizenship applications, as well as other petitions).  We also researched and wrote six briefs to the Board of Immigration Appeals or Sixth Circuit.  And, last but not least...
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Blog Entry 18

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Monday, 29 October 2012
in Faculty Blogs
One of the more interesting activities my students and I do is go to jail – on behalf of our clients.  Currently, we represent two detainees in the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Each client is from West Africa and both attempted to enter Canada to make a refugee claim there but were not allowed to do so because they could not establish their identity and family relationships in Canada.  One client has a pretty goo...
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Blog Entry 17

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
Sometimes one of the hardest lessons to learn is that our clients are not our friends and, rather, we are their lawyers and not their therapists or social workers.  Clients with lawyers who treat them with kid gloves lose.  This point was brought home to students in the Immigration Law Clinic this term. Our client is a political activist who was jailed and tortured in his home country.  We had one day of testimony in Immigration C...
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Blog Entry 16

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
The summer term (as it always does) flew by this year.  The students in the Immigration Law Clinic were hard at work on a number of interesting cases and the new term promises to be a great experience for our students – and hopefully for our clients.  The past term had a couple highlights in my mind, not strictly in terms of wins on behalf of our clients but how students learned to grow as lawyers and people.  Each term, I experim...
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Blog Entry 15

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
Winning is not everything and sometimes we learn more from losing than winning.  That's all fine and good but winning still beats losing and some wins are sweeter than others.  A client of the Immigration Law Clinic recently experienced a particularly sweet victory:  not only does the decision mean that our client will not have to return to a country where she was tortured but it also gives her access to a life full of opportunitie...
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Blog Entry 14

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
Sometimes we get more from our clients than they get from us.  One of things my students and I get from working with many of our clients is a greater sense of humility and compassion and a desire to not be so self-focused.  Law students, lawyers and even law professors (shocking, I know!) have larger than normal egos and law school, in particular, can be an exercise in alternating self-aggrandizement and self-debasement.  Students ...
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Blog Entry 14

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
The best moments as a law professor are, in my opinion, unscripted.  They happen when a law student finally feels comfortable enough with the litigation process, the law and the witness to deviate from the carefully planned questions and litigation strategy to do what needs to be done to win a case.  One such moment happened last week in Immigration Court.  Over the past seven weeks, the student had rehearsed the direct examin...
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Blog Entry 13

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
Maybe a good way to get a glimpse into the life of UDM students enrolled in the Immigration Law Clinic is to look back at the week just past and present a “week in the life” sort of rundown of our work. Some of the highlights from the past week include: Prepped client from Senegal for two hours for her trial next week.  She has not seen her daughters for nearly two years and broke down several times during the mock trial.  We had to ha...
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Blog Entry 12

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs
Whew!  The fall semester has just come to a close and the students and I had a chance to reflect back on what we accomplished.  Here are the stats: we conducted 11 trials before the U.S. Immigration Court, 4 interviews before the Asylum Office in Chicago, 14 interviews at Homeland Security in Detroit, prepared 42 petitions for relief, met with 128 potential clients, and wrote six appellate briefs.  That is a lot of work for eight s...
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