The Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V. is a student initiative that provides free legal aid for refugees in the Berlin area.
It was founded in 2014 and has been tremendously successful since then.
With over 70 honorary legal counselors we are the biggest law clinic providing free legal advice in matters of asylum and the right of residence in Germany. For more than two years now, our counsels are providing free legal aid in the Berlin area.
Between October 2016 and November 2017 we will have achieved an estimated amount of more than 5000 hours of counseling. We spoke to and advised more than 2000 refugees in the Berlin area. Between November 2015 and October 2016 our counsels already provided for more than 1500 hours of free legal aid.
Our counselors work in teams consisting of four to six people. One session is usually held by two counselors. At this point, eleven teams are providing legal aid, in refugee shelters, our office at Humboldt-University in Mitte and at central points in Kreuzberg and Moabit. For more information see here.
Specifically, the Refugee Law Clinic Berlin helps to prepare refugees for their official hearings (dt. „Anhörung“), any correspondence with immigration institutions („Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge“ and „Ausländerbehörde“) and assists in filing lawsuits on behalf of and together with our clients.
We are very engaged in the field of so called ‚upgrade-claims’. In these cases refugees received only subsidiary protection within Germany and was not granted the full refugee-status. Furthermore, we assist refugees in matters of family reunification.
Our counsels all partake in a one-year training before joining our active counsels.
In addition we frequently organize speeches, panel discussions and cultural events, concerning the topic of migration and flight. Recent events were, among others, lectures with the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize laureate Svetlana Gannushkina, the Leibniz Prize laureate Prof. Dr. Christoph Moellers (HU Berlin), the international expert on refugee law Prof. Dr. James C. Hathaway (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor). Further, we cooperated with two Berlin-based theaters, the award-winning author Senthuran Varatharajah and invited the Syrian-Palestinian pianist Aehem Ahmad for a concert.