UNLV working to boost legal aid resources for undocumented children

Administrators plan to hire a third lawyer and offer a much-needed pay hike to Leese and Cooley, whose struggles to keep up with a ballooning caseload.
News Story (Nevada)

Ana Ley
Las Vegas Review-Journal
July 31, 2016

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Deportation, Immigration Process, Law School Clinics

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Demand in Las Vegas has been overwhelmingly high, and the program pays Leese and Cooley only about $24,000 per year for grueling work that often spills into nights and weekends.

Hamilton said the school is working to renew its AmeriCorps contract for at least another year, and it is also pursuing other revenue sources to give them both pay raises because they are “certainly not making a sufficient wage.”

He also hopes that bringing a new attorney to the clinic will make their caseload more manageable: Since the program launched, they have taken on cases for 98 children in immigration-related proceedings. UNLV officials said at least 28 have been spared from deportation — eight of those children have been granted permanent residency in the United States.