Immigration Law

immigrants attending citizenship ceremony

Learn to Navigate Immigration Law and Policy at the Crossroads of the Americas

Located in a major immigration gateway to the United States, Miami Law offers both academic and experiential learning opportunities in the field of immigration, asylum, and citizenship law. You can tailor your study of immigration law with our vast interdisciplinary course offerings and with other areas of study such as human rights law, business law, criminal law, health care law, and social justice and public interest. Invaluable first-hand experience in the Immigration Clinic allows you to advocate on behalf of immigrants and collaborate with immigrants’ rights organizations. Collaborating on projects that reform the law and advance the cause of social justice for immigrants, enables you to become an integral part of the wider immigrant and human rights advocacy community in South Florida and the nation.

Some Facts about Miami and Miami Law:

Thais de la Cuba“For my interests, the law school provided a great environment and...public interest opportunities. After taking Immigration Law with Professor Sharpless during my 1L year and then interning with organizations like Americans for Immigrant Justice and [US] Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, it was clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career in immigration law.”

Thais De La Cuba, J.D. '15
Supervisory Asylum Officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Fort Lauderdale, FL


  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Immigration
  • American Legal History
  • Business, Entertainment, and Sports
  • Immigration Law
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Constitutional Law I, II, and III
  • Economy and Society
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Gender Violence, Social Justice, and the Law
  • Human Trafficking
  • Immigration for Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers
  • Immigration Law
  • Immigration Law and Policy
  • Immigration, Ethnicity, and Public Policy
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Law
  • International Treaties Law
  • Labor Law
  • Legislation
  • Professional Responsibility for U.S. and Multinational Practice
  • Race and Economic Justice
  • Race and the Law
  • Race, Class, and Power: The #BlackLivesMatter Movement
  • Researching the Administrative State
  • Slavery and Commercial Law
  • Social Impact Advocacy
  • Social Justice Engagement
  • Social Justice Lawyering
  • Spanish for Lawyers I, II, and Independent Study
  • Systemic Advocacy Seminar
  • The Administrative State

*Course list is not exhaustive and does not set out a path of study.

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Clinics and Practicums


Students outside immigration courtPICTURED: Students in February 2022 outside Immigration court in Orlando where their client was detained.

One thing I took away from this experience is if it’s challenging you, testing you, and pushing you, it is helping you to become more of who you are meant to be. In this case specifically, it helped me to become a better lawyer in the fight for justice.”
Abbey Schultz (center), Class of 2024

Read the full story: Immigration Clinic Students Win Release of Mother Held in Shocking Jail Conditions

Externships and Internships**

D.C. Haiti Team

  • American Bar Association Commission on Immigration (Washington, DC)
  • American Civil Liberties Union (New York, NY)
  • Americans for Immigrant Justice
  • Catholic Charities Legal Services (Washington, DC)
  • Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Colombian American Service Association, Inc.
  • Community Justice Project
  • Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Florida Immigration Advocacy Center-
  • FIAC
  • Legal Services of Greater Miami
  • Miami-Dade Legal Aid
  • Miami (Krome) Immigration Court
  • Michigan Immigrant Rights Center-MIRC (Ypsilanti, MI)
  • RAICES’ Family Detention Services Program (Karnes City, TX)
  • Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Service (Washington, DC)
  • Texas Civil Rights Project (Austin, TX)
  • The Community Justice Project, a project of Florida Legal Services, Inc.
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • WeCount!
  • Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights (Chicago, IL)

**List is not exhaustive and is intended to provide examples of past externships and internships.

Faculty Experts

  • David Abraham, Professor of Law Emeritus, has taught Property, Immigration & Citizenship Law, Citizenship and Identity, Law and the Transition to Capitalism and Law and Social Theory.
  • Ira Kurzban, Adjunct Professor, teaches Immigration Law.
  • JoNel Newman, Professor of Clinical Legal Education & Director of the Health Rights Clinic, teaches professional responsibility and civil procedure.
  • Kunal Parker, Professor of Law, is an expert in immigration law and his teaching areas and interests include American Legal History, Estates and Trusts, Immigration and Nationality Law, and Property.
  • Alejandro Portes, Professor of Sociology and Law, is an expert in international migration.

Rebecca SharplessRebecca Sharpless is Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and Professor of Law & Director of Miami Law's Immigration Clinic. 

She researches and writes in the areas of immigration law, progressive lawyering, and the intersection of immigration and criminal law. Professor Sharpless speaks widely on immigration law, including at academic symposia and events such as the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Her areas of expertise include: Civil Litigation and Procedure, Immigration and Refugee Law, and Trial Advocacy and Practice.


  • Rebecca Sánchez-Roig, Adjunct Professor, teaches in the area of entertainment and sports immigration law.
  • Irwin P. Stotzky, Professor of Law, has worked over three decades to improve human rights in Haiti and the status of Haitian immigrants in the U.S.
  • Melissa Swain is the Associate Director, Health Rights Clinic & Lecturer in Law.

Conferences, Lectures, Centers

Symposium participantsDefending the Human Rights of Migrants Lecture Series
Creative Strategies in Immigration Court and Litigation
Continuing Legal Education Seminar on Innovative Immigration Defense

HOPE Public Interest Resource Center - hosts information sessions on jobs and fellowships in the area of immigration and makes immigration law volunteer opportunities available to students during law school at local nonprofits groups, including Americans For Immigrant Justice, Catholic Legal Services, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Opportunities are available through the:

  • HOPE Fellowship Program - provides summer stipends to students to create their dream jobs in immigration and public interest anywhere across the globe.
  • Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program - rising 2L students with a genuine commitment to public interest work full-time at a local public interest agency, and do classroom sessions and a legal research and writing project.