Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic notes 10 years via open-access monograph

October 16, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, in partnership with Penn State University Libraries Open Publishing, is excited to announce the publication of “Back Into the Future of Immigration: Personal Stories by the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.” The open-access monograph — the first of its kind from the Libraries Open Publishing program — showcases personal stories from past and current students of the clinic, many of whom are now practicing immigration law at large firms, as solo practitioners, for nonprofit organizations, and in the federal government.

“Working on this project has been a remarkable experience and opened a window into the lived experiences of my former students and the ways they have and will continue to improve the lives of others and access to justice generally,” said Penn State Law Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, founder and director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and editor of the new monograph. “I am grateful to the Libraries Open Publishing program, Penn State Law and the many students, clients and partners who have built the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic to what it is today.”

The publication coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the clinic, which works to advance immigrants’ rights through legal excellence, advocacy, education and collaboration with key stakeholders on immigration law and policy. The monograph highlights some of the many ways that law students have made a positive impact on individuals, institutions and the community through their work with the clinic.

“I am so proud of the important work of Professor Shoba Wadhia and the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic,” said Hari M. Osofsky, dean and distinguished professor of law at Penn State Law. “This collection of essays does a wonderful job of capturing how the clinic has impacted the lives of both its clients and the students who participate. I appreciate Professor Wadhia’s leadership in compiling these important stories to share with the world as a model for impactful experiential education and public service.”

Over the years, the clinic has become increasingly more involved in the community, working with the State College Police Department, mayor, Borough of State College, local women’s resource center, and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center to help provide outreach and education. Since 2012, the clinic has played an important role in screening individuals and families who may qualify for relief under programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Clinic students have also prepared and delivered continuing legal education programs to members of the Centre County Bar Association.

“The Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Penn State Law provides law students with valuable, hands-on experience working in immigration,” said Rebecca Mattson, head of faculty and research services and professor of legal research at Penn State Law. “‘Back Into the Future’ is a true testament to the hard work and exemplary spirit that students pour into clinic work. As an open access publication, ‘Back Into the Future’ will reach people across the country and the world, and the student stories will serve as an inspiration to many.”

In addition to her work leading the clinic, Wadhia is the Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar and Clinical Professor of Law at Penn State Law. She is an expert on immigration law, with research focusing on prosecutorial discretion’s role in immigration law, and the intersections of race, national security and immigration. She teaches doctrinal courses on immigration, asylum, and refugee law.

“Back Into the Future of Immigration: Personal Stories by the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic” can be found online at

Penn State University Libraries is committed to making data and knowledge accessible to the Penn State community and the public. The Libraries Open Publishing program, part of the Digital Scholarship and Data Services department, has been publishing open access material since 2007. It publishes eight open access journals and has published five bibliographies, a topical web portal, and now one open access monograph. For more information about the Libraries Open Publishing program, visit or contact Ally Laird at

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Last Updated October 31, 2018