Center for Applied Legal Studies
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 332
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 662-9565
Clinic Staff & Faculty:
Philip G. Schrag
Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies and Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law; A.B., Harvard; LL.B., Yale
Professor Schrag teaches Civil Procedure and directs the Center for Applied Legal Studies, in which students represent refugees from persecution who are seeking asylum in the United States. He served for 21 years as the Director of the Public Interest Law Scholars Program, through which selected law students who plan careers as public interest lawyers receive scholarship grants and special academic enrichment and guidance in that field. Before joining the Law Center faculty in 1981, he was assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Educational Fund, Consumer Advocate of the City of New York, a professor at Columbia University Law School, and Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, from which he received a Meritorious Honor Award in 1981. Professor Schrag has also had a distinguished and varied career in civic service, which has included positions as a delegate to the District of Columbia Statehood Constitutional Convention in 1982, an editor and consultant on consumer protection during the Carter-Mondale transition, a consultant to the New York State Consumer Protection Board, a consultant to the Governor's Advisory Council of Puerto Rico, and an Academic Specialist for the United States Information Agency in the Czech Republic and Hungary. In addition, he drafted New York City's Consumer Protection Act of 1969. He is also a prolific author, having written dozens of articles on consumer law, nuclear arms control, political asylum, and various other topics for both law journals and popular publications. He is the author of fourteen books, including Reflections on Clinical Legal Education (with Michael Meltsner, 1998), Asylum Denied: A Refugee's Struggle for Safety in America (link) (with David Ngaruri Kenney, 2008); and Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform (with Jaya Ramji-Nogales and Andrew I. Schoenholtz, 2009).
Andrew I. Schoenholtz
Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies; Deputy Director, Georgetown University Institute for the Study of International Migration, Visiting Professor of Law; B.A., Hamilton; J.D., Harvard; Ph.D., Brown
Professor Schoenholtz directs the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies as well as the Center for Applied Legal Studies at the Law Center, and is the Deputy Director of Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of International Migration. He teaches courses on Refugee Law and Policy, Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies, and Immigration Law and Policy. Prior to teaching at the Law Center, Professor Schoenholtz served as Deputy Director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and practiced immigration, asylum and international law with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. Dr. Schoenholtz has conducted fact-finding missions in Haiti, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, Malawi, and Zambia to study root causes of forced migration, refugee protection, long-term solutions to mass migration emergencies, and humanitarian relief operations. He researches and writes regularly on refugee law and policy. His publications include: Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication (co-author); Refugee Protection in the United States Post-September 11th; The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration (chapter on "Improving Legal Frameworks"); and Aiding and Abetting Persecutors: The Seizure and Return of Haitian Refugees in Violation of the U.N. Refugee Convention and Protocol. Dr. Schoenholtz holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. from Brown University.
Heidi Altman, Fellow
Heidi Altman came to Georgetown from the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS), a holistic public defender office in New York City where she created an in-house immigration services project which is now a permanent program at NDS. At NDS, Heidi provided consultations on immigration consequences of crimes to defense attorneys and clients, and provided direct representation on a variety of immigration matters.
Heidi graduated from New York University School of Law, has a Master's degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and received her Bachelor's degree from Yale College. Prior to law school, Heidi worked as a program associate in the Asylum Legal Representation Project at Human Rights First.
Laila Hlass, Fellow
Before coming to Georgetown, Laila Hlass was a staff attorney in the Immigration Clinic at Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law, where she advocated for particularly vulnerable immigrants in the Deep South, including survivors of violence, detainees, and children. While at Loyola, she also served as the Interim Director of the Office of Law Skills and Experiential Learning and as an adjunct professor, teaching a seminar in refugee and asylum law. Previously, Laila provided holistic, legal services to immigrant youth in the New York City metropolitan area at the Door Legal Services. During 2009-10, Laila was selected as an Effective Leadership fellow with Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, and she currently serves on the board of the ACLU of Louisiana. Laila graduated from Columbia Law School, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Rice University. While in law school, Laila co-founded the Student Hurricane Network, a national network of law students that recruited and placed more than 5,500 law students with pro bono placements in the hurricane affected region.