International Refugee Assistance Project
(2008; New York, Amman, Beirut; 38 staff;

Founded by five students at the Yale Law School this non-profit has spread to 29 law schools in the US and Canada. In 2010 the project joined the Urban Justice Center. Organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons by mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy. Empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.  It is a “virtual public interest law firm” of 1,200 law students and over 800 pro bono attorneys. They managed to resettle 2,000 refugees in eight different countries. Seeks to overcome the legal and bureaucratic impediments in the resettlement process. Utilizes lessons learned in individual casework to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee populations.  First to sue Trump’s immigration order of a Muslim ban with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) acting as co-counsel.

Programs and activities:

  • Individual Legal Representation for Refugees
  • Fact-Finding and Policy Advocacy
  • Refugee Roadmap
  • Clinical Legal Education
  • Emerging Refugee Populations


Leadership: Becca Heller (Founder and Director)