ATLANTA – Emily Torstveit Ngara, former director of the Deportation Defense Clinic at Hofstra University, will lead the new Immigration Law Clinic at Georgia State University College of Law.

The clinic will start accepting customers from January 2020.

“Immigration law is special to me,” said Ngara. “My clients and the interaction with them inspired me to dedicate my life to this cause. I believe we are saving lives in immigration clinics. “

The Georgia State Law Immigration Clinic is funded by a two-year Kresge Foundation scholarship of $ 300,000 and serves immigrants in need of deportation across Georgia. According to TRAC, a non-partisan data research organization at Syracuse University, there is a backlog of 31,000 cases in the state, almost all in the Atlanta area.

“Emily Torstveit Ngara brings the perfect blend of experience and enthusiasm to the position,” said Lisa Bliss, assistant dean of experiential and clinical programs and co-director of the Health Law Partnership Legal Services Clinic. “Her background in immigration clinic teaching and development, and her passion for the job make her the ideal director to open a new immigration clinic at Georgia State Law.”

Ngara and another supervising attorney will teach students how to represent clients on a variety of immigration issues. The clinic will focus on deportation defense and support those who have exceeded the visa or whose deferred action for child arrival or temporary protection status has been lifted.

“There is such an overwhelming need,” said Ngara. “There are still people who go to court without representation. Representation greatly increases the chance that the case will be successful. “

Ngara will develop strategies for the outreach program under the guidance of community leaders. Before the clinic opens, it plans to meet with local immigration stakeholders to identify gaps in support where students can provide assistance.

“My hope,” she said, “is that Georgia State Law students will learn how to be effective lawyers while serving vulnerable communities.”