Haynes and Boone Summer Associate Helps Win Supreme Court Immigration Case
UH Law Clinic Victorious in High Court Over Immigration Case
Just minutes after University of Houston Immigration Clinic Director Geoffrey Hoffman heard that the U.S. Supreme Court had reached a unanimous decision Monday for a long-time clinic client, he fired off an e-mail to three of his students.
"We Won!" he wrote. "Congrats!"
The victory in the case of Jose Carachuri, a legal immigrant from Mexico facing deportation for a second misdemeanor drug charge, could potentially affect thousands of legal immigrants facing deportation, Hoffman said.
The unanimous ruling was based in part on research done by three UH law students, particularly one unassuming 26-year-old, Charlotte Simon, who spent her Christmas break this year helping to build the merit brief reviewed by the nation's highest court.
Simon, an Austin native from a family of lawyers, said her first brush with immigration law was personal.
She met her husband, an immigration attorney, when she was an undergraduate student studying abroad in Chile and had to file paperwork so he could immigrate to the U.S.
She said she jumped at the chance to work on the Supreme Court case last winter when she checked her e-mail and saw Hoffman was looking for students to start gathering research for the brief.
"That was an amazing opportunity," Simon said. "The clinic has had that case since 2006, and I was just very fortunate to be here at an exciting moment in the life of that case. To me, it's really a testament to the law clinic that they give you that much responsibility and will stick with a case for that long, even when it's challenging, all the way to the Supreme Court."
This article has been excerpted from the Houston Chronicle. To view the full story, click here.