Farmworker Legal Assistance
Employment on a farm is one of the worlds' most difficult and dangerous occupations. Farmworkers experience geographic, linguistic, and cultural isolation, separation from family, immigration insecurity reinforced by policing practices, workplace sexual violence, and exclusion from protective employment laws. Working with the new clinic's community partners , student attorneys will handle immigration and employment matters on behalf of farmworkers in the region, work that will typically involve negotiation and often require litigation. Students will also work in brief advice and referral outreach sessions in farmworker communities. Clinic participants may also have the opportunity to work on research and writing projects with civil rights, environmental protection, and farmworker rights organizations.
Building A Practice
The Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic, one of the only such clinics in America and one of the first to serve rural immigrant communities, will open its doors in August 2015. Because of our focus on both immigration and employment law, and our ability to assist undocumented as well as documented clients, our caseload will be unique. Every semester, we will likely petition courts before which we have never appeared. Students will develop an entrepreneurial approach to the law, charting our identity as a legal services provider.
To address our clients' multiple legal needs, our work may involve any of the following areas of law:
- Wage and Hour
- Employment Discrimination
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Family Medical Leave
- Asylum and Withholding of Removal
- Cancellation of Removal
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Visas for Crime Survivors
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability
The Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic is a setting in which students:
- assume primary responsibility for client matters
- provide excellent legal representation to indigent farmworkers and farmworker support organizations
- develop key lawyering skills, including interviewing, counseling, fact investigation, drafting, negotiation, language accessible practice, and, in some cases, trial advocacy
- engage in reflective lawyering, showing the ability to evaluate past performances and continually improve future performances through planning
- collaborate with other clinic students, clinic supervisors, and community partners
Participating in the Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic
Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic students will participate in a lawyering seminar and work with a clinic partner on their assigned cases. The lawyering seminar will focus on skills students need for effective client representation.
Professor Beth Lyon directs the Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic. Interested students should pre-register for the clinic and submit a resume, unofficial transcript, and short statement of interest to Professor Lyon (email@example.com) by the deadline provided in the current course registration materials. Please contact Professor Lyon if you have any questions or would like more information about the Clinic.
Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic Community Partners
Cornell Farmworker Program
Global Workers Justice Alliance
Legal Aid Society of Rochester
Worker Justice Center of New York