Clinic Alumni Provide Leadership at Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference

March 12, 2018

Alumnae, and current and former faculty of the St. Thomas law school immigration clinics provided leadership to the local bar at the recent Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference, held March 9, 2018, in downtown Minneapolis.

The event is the premier regional immigration law forum, providing immigration law professionals with a chance to learn, share and connect as they “fight the good fight” for their clients. The conference was presented jointly by the Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and The Advocates for Human Rights, and was held at the St. Thomas law school campus.

Among the participants from St. Thomas were:

  • Alison Brandell-Douglas ’13 J.D., who chaired the conference planning committee.
  • Sarah Brenes ’08 J.D., refugee and immigrant program director with The Advocates for Human Rights, who served on the planning committee and moderated a panel on human trafficking visas.
  • Jenny Mojica ’06 J.D., an adjunct professor teaching immigration law at St. Thomas, who moderated a panel on employment-based immigration. 
  • Elizabeth Holmes, adjunct clinical professor of the Appellate Immigration Clinic, who presented on research methods for new practitioners. 
  • Kate Lovo ’10 J.D., who addressed waivers of inadmissibility.
  • Carrie Anderson ’06 J.D., who works for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Ombudsman’s Office and commented on issues related to employment-based immigration in the context of new administrative executive orders.
  • Former St. Thomas law school adjunct professor Kathy Moccio, a visiting assistant clinical professor at the University of Minnesota, who shared tips on addressing increasingly harsh immigration bond decisions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and immigration judges.
  • Kate Evans, former adjunct professor of the St. Thomas Appellate Immigration Clinic and current associate professor of law at the University of Idaho, who dissected the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez, which considers whether courts can consider the constitutionality of lengthy and mandatory immigration detention. She referenced Bah v. Cangemi, a 2009 District of Minnesota case by Judge Patrick J. Schiltz, former associate dean of St. Thomas law school.
  • Third-year law student Wondwosen Darsebo ’16 LL.M., who volunteered at the conference.

Several others from St. Thomas law school attended, including current LL.M. student Sukirti Shikha, clinical staff Amy Micek and Kerry Conboy, and clinic director Professor Virgil Wiebe.