Our Model

Student & Attorney Partnerships: What began at a single law school has since grown into a legal movement: a unique model of partnering law students with pro bono lawyers allows IRAP to leverage every $1 spent into $10 in legal aid. 

IRAP utilizes in-kind, volunteer, and student resources to provide direct services to refugees and pursue systemic advocacy, all while maintaining very low overhead. Our 29 law school chapters partner with over 75 international law firms and multinational corporations, deploying teams of law students and lawyers to work on urgent refugee resettlement cases.

The model ensures high-quality case performance, engages top-tier firms and law schools in refugee advocacy, and trains the next generation of lawyers to become international human rights advocates.

In the Field: In recent years, the demand for IRAP’s services in the Middle East and North Africa has risen dramatically. A confluence of factors has fueled this: the rise of the Islamic State; the absence of durable solutions for refugees; growing frustration among local populations in countries of first asylum that have hosted Syrian, Iraqi, and other refugees for many years; and the deplorable conditions in which refugees live.

IRAP’s overseas field staff of lawyers, case managers, and interpreters works in cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international government organizations (IGOs), and governmental partners to address these factors and swiftly identify refugees in dire need of assistance. Our offices in Amman and Beirut are responsible for the intake and screening processes of our prospective clients, relationship-building with partner organizations, emergency response programming, and the expansion of IRAP’s geographical scope to work with the most at-risk refugee populations.

IRAP’s caseload expansion is frequently driven by the emerging needs of highly vulnerable populations in the countries in which we operate. Our presence on the ground, coupled with our legal expertise and knowledge of local cultural norms, uniquely positions us to respond to emerging crises effectively and in real time, whether it’s evacuating LGBTI individuals after a massacre or conducting massive outreach following a change in U.S. resettlement procedures.

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