Almost 150 law students, legal and policy experts, and supporters attended IRAP’s Annual Student Summit on October 8-9, marking another record year of participation.
This year’s summit featured a highly anticipated keynote address by Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M University, who spoke candidly about his experience as Ambassador in the Middle East and his views on the region’s future. He indicated that refugee rights advocates would have a lot more work to do in the future, but noted that seeing our enthusiastic chapter members gave him hope.
The students, who hailed from all across the United States and Canada, also heard from Dr. Madelon Baranoski, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, about how to assist clients with memory loss due to trauma, and from Larry Yungk, a Senior Resettlement Officer with the UNHCR, about resettlement and the Syrian crisis. A special panel organized by IRAP’s policy team, featuring Scott Cooper, Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First, provided facts and talking points to help refugee advocates counter national security concerns.
This year’s program also included a panel with four former IRAP clients who shared their experiences as refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia. The main takeaway: refugees need lawyers because they give them hope.
The students also had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions and discuss best practices among each other.
IRAP would like to thank Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP for hosting us once again, and Skadden for kindly sponsoring the Happy Hour.