Pepperdine's Asylum Clinic and its first client Gilda Ghanipour were featured in the LA Times on October 24. The article tells the story of Ghanipour's conversion to Christianity, her years on the run, and how Pepperdine law students helped her earn asylum in the United States.
The Asylum Clinic is intended to provide second- and third-year law students, acting under professorial supervision, to represent indigent and underprivileged foreign-born individuals who seek asylum in the United States based on a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality (ethnicity), membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
The students selected for the clinic are required to also take an additional lecture course in the substance and procedures of Asylum and Refugee Law. Under the guidance of Judge Bruce Einhorn, the author of the U.S. law on asylum, and two junior instructors, who are also immigration law practitioners, clinical students participate in the screening of asylum seekers, the preparing of their relief applications and supporting documents and declarations, and the presenting of their cases to the Asylum Office of the Department of Homeland Security, in U.S. Immigration Court, and on appeal.
The Asylum Clinic is open to all indigent and underprivileged asylum seekers who upon screening by Judge Einhorn, the instructors, and the students, are deemed to possess credible fears of persecution.