1. How many hours on average do students spend on an IFAP case?
Students will spend 20-40 hours, on average, on their IFAP case spread across two or more quarters.
2.How are student/attorney teams chosen?
Students who complete fall IFAP trainings and students who have taken IFAP cases in the past apply to take a case. They are matched into teams based on access to a vehicle, language ability, and level of cultural competency. Because IFAP works with survivors of domestic violence, no team will be made up of two males.
Attorneys attend a CLE training presented by IFAP and NWIRP. They then apply to take a case and are matched with student teams.
3. How do I sign up for a case?
To sign up for an IFAP case, attend IFAP’s fall trainings, which are advertised in the daily and weekly law school news. If you have completed the trainings and taken an IFAP case in the past, you do not need to repeat the trainings. Once the trainings are completed, simply fill out an application to take a case and drop it off with an IFAP Case Manager or other IFAP officer.
4. Do I need experience in immigration law or domestic violence in order to take a case?
No. The majority of IFAP volunteers have little or no experience prior to taking a case. Though both immigration experience and experience working with survivors of domestic violence are helpful, they are not required. You will receive training in both during IFAP’s fall trainings. Ongoing support from Case Managers and additional trainings in Winter and Spring will supplement your knowledge of each area.
5. Do I need to speak a different language?
No. IFAP does not require you to speak another language and provides access to interpreters.
6. What are the best ways to prepare for taking an IFAP case?
Attend IFAP’s fall trainings, attend additional trainings offered in Winter and Spring quarter, read articles related to cultural competency and working with survivors of domestic violence.
8. If my student partner, supervising attorney and I are having trouble with our case, who can we talk to?
If you are having trouble with your case, your first step is to check the IFAP Manual to see if the answer to your question can be found there. If not, IFAP’s Co-Case Managers: Tony Ramsey and Janet Gwilym are available to answer questions or strategize around problems that may arise.
9. How many cases on average do UW law students take on per year?
In the 2011-2012 year, UW law students will work on 36 different U Visa cases.
10. How many cases have UW law students completed since IFAP started?
IFAP started in 1996 and has completed…
11. What kinds of roles do students take on?
Students interview clients, draft declarations, work with law enforcement to obtain certifications of the crimes, gather exhibits, and assemble immigration forms.
1. Would IFAP ever take a case to the media if there was difficulty obtaining a certification?
IFAP likely would not take a case to the media. When you encounter problems with obtaining a police certification, there are a lot of different strategies we will try to obtain the certification and most of the cases we get from NWIRP are relatively straightforward.
2. If the client has not informed law enforcement about the crime against her or dependants, should a student do this instead of victim?
All of our clients are referred to us by NWIRP, so there will already be a documented qualifying crime, which has made the client eligible.
3. Do I need to inform the police about the reason for the certification or would telling them the reason deter them from signing?
The IFAP Manual and website contain sample police certification requests. There is a separate letter when contacting the prosecutor’s office. Both letters explain what the certification represents and what it does not. This explanation speaks to some of the key concerns of officials who receive these requests and have been reviewed by NWIRP and refined over the years.
Cultural Competency Questions
1. What are the most useful resources in researching a client’s cultural background in order to become familiar with a client’s country of origin?
CIA Factbook is a great resource as would Wikipedia for a basic overview. You don’t have to get in depth knowledge of the country, but some basic knowledge is helpful. Also www.culturecrossing.net is a good site for basics of cultural traditions, though obviously all of the information varies with the person.
Components of U-Visa Applications
1. Are students responsible for any adjustment status or consular processing after filing the U-Visa application?
IFAP Students are only responsible for the U Visa Application. IFAP encourages the attorney supervising the case to assist with adjustment of status. If the attorney cannot, NWIRP will assist clients with that.
2. If a client only speaks a language other than English, can we ask her to write out her declaration in that language and then translate it into English?
If a client is willing, you can ask her to write her declaration in her language and have it translated. You will then edit and update the declaration based on your interviews with the client. After you have finished editing and updating the declaration, you will go over each line with the client before she/he signs it.