Blog Entry 9

Posted by David Koelsch
David Koelsch
David C. Koelsch is an Associate Professor and Director of the Immigration Law C
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on Thursday, 20 October 2011
in Faculty Blogs

One of the great things about UDM Law School is the array of events going on every day at the school.  The flyers and posters nearly covering the doors and hallways are evidence of an engaged student body on any number of issues. OK, so MY issue is Immigration Law and this week the Immigration Law Student Association hosted Tahani Afaneh, the general counsel at U.S. Customs and Border Protection for an informal lunch gathering with their members. 

ILSA is a very active student group with lots of events each term.  Just yesterday, they held a bake sale to raise money for Voice for Justice fellowships and, despite the presence of my not-so-good home-made oatmeal cookies, raised several hundred dollars.  One more plug for ILSA:  UDM is home to more student members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association than any other law school.  That is a symbol of how strongly our students feel about the programs UDM offers to students who want to practice Immigration Law.

Ms. Afaneh was fascinating.  She spoke about her legal education, her family’s immigrant background, how she worked in private practice and why she works for the Department of Homeland Security as well as her specific job duties.  She was very candid with students about the pressures of private practice and the demands on lawyers working for the government.  But she also mentioned the interesting and even joyful aspects of working in Immigration Law and why she loves her job.

Immigration Law is a busy practice area right now and the prospect of comprehensive immigration reform coupled with increased enforcement leads to a bright future for students interested in Immigration Law.  Not only will it pay the bills but it is a very satisfying to help deserving immigrants and their families and employers but it is a technically- and intellectually-challenging area of law. 

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About the author

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.