CUNY Law's Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is one of the few organizations at CUNY Law which gives students hands on experience through direct legal services. Our clients are refugees displaced from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other Middle Eastern and North African countries. Most of these individuals face violent persecution because of their gender, sexual orientation, or political beliefs or for assisting the U.S. as translators or as contracted employees. Estimates show that more than two million individuals in the Middle East have been displaced as a result of U.S. occupation.
Working closely with supervising attorneys, CUNY IRAP members provide life-saving legal services while developing the broad range of skills needed to become powerful advocates for the global public interest. Members learn refugee law, conduct legal research, create a wide variety of legal documents, learn how to conduct interviews, work with interpreters, and learn how develop rapport with clients who have experienced unbelievable trauma.
Additionally, students have the opportunity to do policy work through IRAP's National Chapter, attend local and national conferences, and to travel to the Middle East for client intake work during spring break.