Georgia Law Community HeLP Clinic reaches successful settlement of lawsuit challenging DHS immigration practices

The University of Georgia School of Law Community Health Law Partnership Clinic recently secured significant immigration relief for its clients, by means of an agreement settling a lawsuit that it filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The settlement concluded Oviedo de la Cruz et. al. v. Mayorkas et. al., Case No. 3:21-CV-00077, which had been prepared by the Clinic’s lawyers and law students and filed last June in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. (credit for M.D. Ga. courthouse photo) The lawsuit alleged that the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act had been violated by several practices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; for example, unreasonable delays in DHS processing of benefits for immigrant survivors of crime who assisted law enforcement.

Twenty Clinic clients benefited from the settlement. Seventeen clients received favorable agency determinations resulting in deferred action and employment authorization pending final adjudication. Three family members residing abroad also were granted relief; this will, among other things, help one of the individual plaintiffs reunite her family. The lawsuit’s success also will benefit 24 minor U.S. citizen children in the plaintiffs’ families.

The Oviedo de la Cruz litigation’s success is due to the hard work, on this lawsuit and the underlying immigration cases, of many students and staff at the Clinic. Primary drafter of the complaint was M. Paige Finley (JD’21), under the supervision of Clinic Director Jason A. Cade and Staff Attorney Kristen E. Shepherd, with administrative and interpretive support from Sarah Ehlers. Other Clinic students involved included 3Ls Navroz Tharani, Thomas Evans, Luis Gomez, and Paige Medley, as well as 2Ls M. Kaitlin Hocker and Victoria M. Hiten. Several who have since completed their JD studies also contributed, including: from the Georgia Law Class of 2021, Ansley Whiten; Class of 2020, Caitlin Felt and Christopher Larsen; Class of 2019, Gabriel A. Justus, Sarah Mirza, and Megan Alpert; Class of 2018, Alina Venick, Michael D. Aune, and Onur Yildirim; and Class of 2017, Ashley A. Rudolph and Alessandro Raimondo.

Georgia Law coursework begins for inaugural class of students seeking Graduate Certificate in International Law

Graduate Certificate in International Law students tour Hirsch Hall at the University of Georgia School of Law Friday, in anticipation of the new semester beginning this week.

This New Year marks the arrival of the inaugural class of Graduate Certificate in International Law students here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Through the initiative of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center, postgraduate students from other disciplines within the university will earn this academic certificate following their successful completion, in classes alongside J.D., LL.M., and M.L.S. students, of fifteen credit hours chosen from among the law school’s rich comparative, transnational, and international law curriculum; courses include Public International Law, International Human Rights, International Trade Law, Immigration Law, International Law Colloquium, and Global Governance.

The seven students comprising the first class include:

  • Four doctoral students: from the School of Public and International Affairs, Alma Bajramović, a Ph.D. candidate who is researching conflict and conflict resolution, with a focus on the Balkans; from the Mary Frances Early College of Education, Leslyn Beckles, candidate for a Ph.D. in Learning, Leading, and Organization Development, whose research concentrates on women political leaders in the Caribbean; and from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Isaac Torres, a Ph.D. candidate in Bioinformatics who examines artificial intelligence and statistical models to address complex biology problems, and Jasmine Underwood, a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology interested in gender, development and social change, and political sociology.
  • Three master’s students, all from the School of Public and International Affairs: Megan Gerken and Nelson Millan Nales, both pursuing Master of Public Administration degrees, and Michael Sway, a candidate for the Master of International Policy degree.

Details on application of and matriculation toward the Graduate Certificate in International Law are available here and by contacting the initiative’s administrator, Sarah Quinn, Associate Director for Global Practice Preparation at the Dean Rusk International Law Center, squinn[at]

Georgia Law Professor Amann joins Wisconsin historian Hirsch in “Understanding Nuremberg” podcast

“Understanding Nuremberg” is the title of a new podcast with Professor Diane Marie Amann, a Faculty Co-Director of our Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, and University of Wisconsin Professor Francine Hirsch.

Their conversation appears as Episode 53 of Asymmetrical Haircuts: Your International Justice Podcast, hosted by the Hague-based journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg. To quote the hosts, Amann and Hirsch discussed

“what we think we know (and what we don’t) about Nuremberg trials.”

Amann, who also is Regents’ Professor of International Law and the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law here at Georgia Law, is writing Nuremberg Women, a book about the roles that lawyers and other women professionals played at the first post-World War II war crimes trial, before the International Military Tribunal composed of judges and prosecutors from 4 Allied countries: France, Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

Hirsch, who is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published an account of the work of that last country in 2020. Her award-winning book is called Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A New History of the International Military Tribunal After World War II.

Their full podcast conversation about these previously understudied participants, and about how including their stories may challenge conventional understandings of the Nuremberg trials and their legacy, is here.