|Sang Hwa Lee and Eliza Vorenberg, Director of the ProBono Collaborative
Here is a dispatch from Prof. Mary Holper, who directs the RWU Law Immigration Clinic.
Sang Hwa Lee, a student in our Immigration Clinic, demonstrated outstanding commitment to his clients and excellence in all aspects of his clinical work.
Sang is a very promising advocate. One of his clients was a woman who was stopped by immigration authorities during a raid on workers shoveling snow on the New England Patriot’s football field. Sang carefully counseled his client about her right to remain silent during her interview with authorities, explaining each of her options and the possible outcomes. Sang also worked with another student to represent a young man in detention, who sought relief from deportation. He and his clinic partner thoroughly examined all of the client’s options and tirelessly built the record. Only days before his graduation, Sang was in Boston representing his client at trial. Although the outcome for his client was not favorable, the judge and opposing attorney commended Sang for his careful preparation, which included a lengthy pre-trial brief and several supporting documents. Although this case demanded much of his time due to an expedited docket for detained cases, Sang also spent hours interviewing a young woman who, as a victim of domestic violence (which qualifies for a special immigration visa). Sang completed a carefully researched opening memo, displaying his ability to master many obscure aspects of the immigration laws in a very short time. Sang also exhaustively researched gender-based asylum claims, an ever-evolving issue in asylum law, and educated his fellow students about the topic during a “case rounds” presentation.
Sang demonstrated outstanding skills as a communicator, which is especially impressive because English is not his first language. He successfully completed a “Know Your Rights” presentation to a community group, focusing on noncitizens’ rights when stopped by the police or the immigration authorities. Using his own experiences as an immigrant, he explained difficult concepts in basic terms, earning the trust of the audience. And, Sang is creative: to break the ice in a presentation to a group of detainees, he began with a magic trick!
During his semester in the Immigration Clinic, Sang worked long hours in service to his clients. He looked at every option in every case, never resting until he had uncovered any relevant research to help his clients. He communicated extremely well with his fellow students, clients, and the immigrant communities we serve, notwithstanding the challenge of communicating in a second language. In short, Sang was a model clinical student, and for this the Roger Williams clinical faculty chose him for the Clinical Legal Educational Association (CLEA) outstanding clinical student award.