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2017 Arrival Awards

The University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic provides law students with an unparalleled opportunity to learn the art of lawyering and to gain hands-on experience while at the same time helping those in great need.

The Clinic specializes in assisting individuals who have been victims of torture and persecution, domestic violence and human trafficking, those fleeing civil war, genocide or political repression, and children who qualify for special immigrant juvenile visas. The Immigration Clinic also represents clients in immigration related federal court appeals.

Founded in 1999 by the late Professor Joseph A. Vail, a former immigration court judge, the Immigration Clinic has mentored more than 280 law students who have represented clients in nearly 2,000 cases.

Under the close supervision of clinical faculty, each of whom has years of experience in immigration law, students carry out all the duties of a practicing lawyer from initial interview and appearance in immigration court to trial and filing of appellate briefs in federal courts, in at least one precedent-setting case, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Immigration Clinic also participates each year in more than 20 informational presentations, training clinics, and workshops with law enforcement agencies, women’s centers, schools, and community organizations. In addition, the Clinic’s Deferred Action Initiative has assisted more than 300 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applicants through one-on-one consultations, outreaches, workshops, and direct representation.

The intense experience pays off for those who commit their time, effort, and heart to help others while learning by doing: “We have recent graduates who are now working in the top immigration firms in Houston, as government counsel, as a public interest attorney with the YMCA, and as a member of the Administrative Appeals Office in Washington,” said Immigration Clinic Director Geoffrey Hoffman.


Attorney Charles Foster presenting one of three 2017 Arrival Awards to Roberto Contreras

The University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic presented the 2017 Arrival Awards to Roberto Contreras, President and CEO of St. Christopher Holdings, Ltd., Pershant Mehta, President and CEO of Je Matadi Inc., and Manolo Sánchez, Chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass, recognizing their achievements as successful immigrants.

The awards were presented by Co-Chairs, and renowned immigration attorneys, Charles C. Foster, of FOSTER, LLP, and Gordon J. Quann, of Quan Law Group, PLLC.

The fabulous dinner event, held at the stylish River Oaks Country Club, attracted many personalities and successful immigrants from a variety of countries and backgrounds, all sharing one common dream: a meaningful contribution to Houston, Texas, and to our country.



























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Category: Highlights