Students in Georgia Law’s Appellate Litigation Clinic win Board of Immigration Appeals case on behalf of asylum-seeker from Russia

Four students in the University of Georgia School of Law Appellate Litigation Clinic have just secured asylum relief for a Russian client, and in so doing earned hands-on experience in practicing law in today’s interconnected world.

The client, Rim Iakovlev, is a Jehovah’s Witness who had fled to the United States after a ruling by the Russian Supreme Court outlawed his religion. A U.S. immigration judge granted his petition for asylum. But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security appealed. It was at this point that the Board of Immigration Appeals, through its pro bono project, appointed Georgia Law’s Appellate Litigation Clinic to represent asylum-seeker Iakovlev. The Board is an administrative appellate agency within the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice.

Drafting the brief in the case, under supervision by Professor Thomas V. Burch, Director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic, were four Georgia Law students: 3Ls Wade H. Barron, C. Daniel Lockaby, and Sarah A. Quattrocchi, and 2L Addison Smith. Their brief stressed consistencies in the accounts given by Iakovlev and his wife, and also refuted the DHS contention that the asylum-seeker was obliged to present a letter from his congregation attesting to his status as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Upon reading the parties’ briefs, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the immigration judge’s decision to grant Iakovlev’s petition for asylum. DHS chose not to appeal the Board’s decision, so that Iakovlev was released from detention last week.

Russian law students & practitioners invited to free webinar on LL.M. study in the United States

1Law students and lawyers in Russia are invited to take part in a free webinar regarding postgraduate legal study in the United States. It’s set for 17:00 (UTC+3, Moscow time) on Wednesday, November 7, and will focus on “Understanding the LL.M. Application Process and the LL.M. experience at U.S. Law Schools.”

Hosted by EducationUSA Russia, the free webinar will feature Laura Tate Kagel, our Center’s Associate Director of International Professional Education. Joining her will be  Valeria Subocheva Smith, who completed her LL.M. degree at Georgia Law in 2018.  Valeria will share her experiences and answer questions from prospective applicants.

No registration is necessary. Details on how to join the webinar, here. Details about Georgia Law’s LL.M. degree here.