‘Trump Bump’ Increases Interest in Immigration Law
President Donald Trump’s policies are influencing more students to pursue immigration law. Time reports that student interest in immigration law has increased at a number of schools with the American Immigration Lawyers Association reporting that student membership has nearly doubled in the past 18 months.
“I think there’s no question that the increased interest is a result of the Trump Administration’s statements about immigrants, and then actions toward immigrants,” Professor Jennifer Gordon at Fordham Law School told Time.
Increased Interest In Law Overall
Overall, interest in law school has also jumped since Trump has taken office.
According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey of more than 500 pre-law students, 32% reported that the 2016 presidential election influenced their decision to pursue law. It’s what experts are calling the “Trump bump.”
“We’ve seen significant jumps in both LSAT takers and law school applications over the past admissions cycle, which has fueled speculation about how much impact, if any, the 2016 election and subsequent political climate has had on this year’s law school admissions landscape,” Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs at Kaplan Test Prep, said. “We now have an answer: It’s significant. The bump is real.”
Immigration Policies Spur Interest in Legal Clinics and Courses
President Trump’s decision in September to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects nearly 800,000 undocumented youth, has pushed a number of law schools to respond with free legal services aimed at assisting those in need.
At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Law, a legal clinic was started in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate for DACA recipients to aid individuals in renewing permits or understanding their rights, the Journal Star reports.
“That’s why we’re all here — to help those we can help,” Phong Tran, one student participating in the clinic, told the Journal Star. “We’re here to let people know their rights and what their options are as far as immigration law.”
At the Fordham University School of Law, student enrollment has nearly tripled in the introductory immigration law course, according to the ABA Journal.
“We had to move to a larger room,” Jennifer Gordon, a professor who teaches the class at Fordham, told the ABA Journal. “Student demand jumped enormously.”