By Emily Spallino, Lead Note & Comment Editor

This month the University of Minnesota Law School received a record $25 million donation from the Robina Foundation.[1] Of the $25 million, $23.5 million will be placed in an endowment to support the Center for New Americans, which will be renamed after James H. Binger, Robina’s founder.

The University of Minnesota Law School is fortunate to provide 24 clinics.[2] The Center for New Americans is comprised of three clinics: Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic; Detainee Rights Clinic; Immigration & Human Rights Law Clinic; and a comprehensive education and outreach program.[3] Many editors and staff members of the Minnesota Journal of International Law (“the Journal”) serve as student attorneys and student directors in these clinics. Nadia Anguiano-Wehde, the Journal’s Lead Managing Editor and Student Director of the Federal Immigration Clinic commented on the importance of clinic and pro bono work.[4] Ms. Anguiano-Wehde indicated that the importance of participating in the clinic is threefold for her. First, her clinic work has taught her how to argue successfully—how to be a lawyer.[5] Second, the Center for New Americans has pulled together an amazing community of advocates for people that don’t always have a voice in our justice system.[6] (The Center was designed in partnership with three law firms, Dorsey & Whitney, Faegre Baker Daniels, and Robins Kaplan, as well as the state’s leading immigration non-profit service providers, The Advocates for Human Rights, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and The Advocates for Human Rights.)[7] Last, she said she has been able to feel like she is part of the solution for current problems.[8]

Currently the Center is working with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office to document the harm and impact President Trump’s Executive Order has had on Minnesotans. Ms. Anguiano-Wehde added, “Working on behalf of Minnesota families has been very fulfilling and makes law school worth it for me.”[9]

[1] Robina Foundation Gives $25 million to Fund Law School’s James H. Binger Center for New Americans and Clinical Faculty Professorship, University of Minnesota Law School https://www.law.umn.edu/news/2017-02-06-robina-foundation-gives-25-million-fund-law-schools-james-h-binger-center-new-americans-and-clinical-faculty-professorship (last visited February 18, 2017).

[2] Clinics, University of Minnesota Law School https://www.law.umn.edu/academics/experiential-learning/clinics (last visited Feb. 18, 2017).

[3] James H. Binger Center for New Americans, University of Minnesota Law School https://www.law.umn.edu/james-h-binger-center-new-americans (last visited Feb 18, 2017).

[4] Telephone Interview with Nadia Anguiano-Wehde, MJIL Lead Managing Editor, (Feb. 15, 2017).

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Robina Foundation Gives $25 million to Fund Law School’s James H. Binger Center for New Americans and Clinical Faculty Professorship, University of Minnesota Law School https://www.law.umn.edu/news/2017-02-06-robina-foundation-gives-25-million-fund-law-schools-james-h-binger-center-new-americans-and-clinical-faculty-professorship (last visited Feb. 18, 2017).

[8] Interview, supra note 4.

[9] Id.