School of Medicine Asylum Law Clinic



Abstract 

The Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh and students and faculty at the School of Medicine are engaged in an effort to establish an asylum clinic that would
provide forensic evaluations for asylum seekers. By documenting the physical and psychological sequelae of human rights abuses and submitting a medical-legal affidavit to court, physicians and students can make a difference in whether these individuals are granted asylum or other relief from deportation. The clinic also trains healthcare providers to perform asylum evaluations, and educates medical students about the process of asylum and the role of healthcare providers in asylum. Shadowing asylum evaluations not only exposes students to the unique points of view of human rights atrocity survivors, but also allows them to observe and practice trauma-informed interviewing and cross-cultural communication. 

Principal Investigator 

Sheila Velez Martinez
Co-Principal Investigator
School of Law 

Jessica Merlin
Co-Principal Investigator
School of Medicine 

Select Collaborators 

John Beckham 
School of Medicine 

Gabriella Galli
School of Medicine 

Linda Hamilto 
School of Law

Olivia Legan 
School of Medicine 

Sahar Shaikh 
School of Medicine 

Yael Wollstein 
School of Medicine 

Goal Area