Erica B. Schommer
Clinical Professor of Law
- J.D., University of Texas School of Law, with honors, 2003
- M.A. in Latin American Studies, University of Texas, 2003
- B.A., University of Wisconsin, with distinction, 1996
License to Practice
Specialties and Courses
- Immigration and Human Rights Clinic
- Trauma-Informed Lawyering
Honors and Awards
- Pro Bono Award, AILA Washington State Chapter, 2012
Erica Schommer is a Clinical Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law where she teaches the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic.
Before joining St. Mary’s, Schommer was in private practice where she focused on detained removal defense and federal court litigation. She began her career working on the U.S./Mexico border at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) where she represented many survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, and directed the Legal Orientation Program at the Willacy Detention Center in Raymondville, Texas.
From 2012 to 2015, Schommer served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration and was the co-chair of the Commission’s Mental Health Advisory Group. She is a frequent presenter at immigration CLEs and has particular expertise in detained removal defense, remedies for non-citizen victims of crime, and representing individuals suffering from mental illness. Schommer has a background in international human rights and has worked on various human rights issues in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
- Op-ed, San Antonio Express News, July 10, 2022, Preventing migrant deaths requires changing policy at home and abroad
- Op-ed, San Antonio Express News, September 29, 2021, Return of Haitians a violation of U.S. law
- “Reflections of an Immigration and Asylum Lawyer in Texas, one month after the Massacre of Infants in Uvalde, TX.” Seminar on Critical Studies of Law and Migration, National Autonomous University of Mexico, June 27, 2022.
- Op-ed, San Antonio Express News, October 4, 2020, Five reforms to restore and improve asylum system
- Op-ed, San Antonio Express-News, June 19, 2020, Support Dreamer’ quest for citizenship
- Op-ed, San Antonio Express-News, May 5, 2019, Unsung heroes in SA and beyond help immigrants find hope
- Op-ed, Texas Observer, July 10, 2018, After Years of Working with ‘Ritmo’ Detainees, I Know the Inhumane Facility Doesn’t Deserve a Second Chance
- Op-ed, San Antonio Express-News, June 23, 2018, Cruelty at the border continues despite executive order
- Speaker, 2022 A Practical Guide to Immigration Removal Proceedings, University of Texas CLE, San Antonio, TX, June 2-3, 2022
- Panelist, International Human Rights, Inns of Court, San Antonio, TX , March 23, 2022
- Moderator, A Conversation on the Ethical Implications of COVID-19 for Immigration Practitioners, The Scholar’s 2022 Immigration Symposium, San Antonio, TX, February 25, 2022
- Speaker, Solicitando Asilo en los Estados Unidos [Applying for Asylum in the United States], Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Estudios Críticos del Derecho y Migraciones, Mexico City, Mexico, (via Zoom), January 27, 2021
- Speaker, Immigration Law Update, Federal Bar Association, San Antonio, TX, December 8, 2021
- Speaker, 2021 A Practical Guide to Immigration Removal Proceedings, University of Texas CLE, Austin, TX, October 27, 2021
- Speaker, Working with Expert and Supporting Lay Witnesses in Immigration Court, 2021 AILA Annual Virtual Conference, June 11, 2021
- Speaker, Temporary Protected Status, City of San Antonio Office of the Immigration Liaison, San Antonio, TX (via Zoom), May 28, 2021
- Speaker, Immigration Updates, The People’s Law School, virtual event, May 1, 2021
- Speaker, Affirmative vs. Defensive Asylum Cases: Nuts & Bolts, TexasBarCLE Handling Your First (or Next) Asylum Case, virtual course, April 15, 2021
- Speaker, The Ever-Evolving World of U.S. Asylum Law: Updates and Practice Pointers on Presenting Affirmative and Defensive Claims, UT CLE 44th Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law, virtual course, October 23, 2020
- Speaker, Immigration and Schools, American Board of Trial Advocates’ Teachers Law School, virtual course, October 23, 2020
- Panelist, Requesting Bond, Parole, and Custody Review During COVID-19, Texas A&M University School of Law Webinar Series, July 22, 2020
- Speaker, A Practical Guide to Immigration Removal Proceedings, UT CLE, virtual course, June 4 – 5, 2020
- Speaker, Navigating the New Roadblocks to Asylum, San Antonio Bar Association Immigration & Nationality Section, San Antonio, TX, January 30, 2020
- Speaker, Avoiding the Pitfalls of Zealous Representation, UT CLE’s 43rd Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law, Austin, TX, October 24, 2019
- Speaker, A Practical Guide to Immigration Removal Proceedings, UT CLE, San Antonio, TX, June 6 – 7, 2019
- Panelist, Learning in Baby Jail: Lessons from Law Student Engagement in Immigration Detention Centers, American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, San Francisco, CA, May 4, 2019
- Speaker, Current Trends in Asylum Law, St. Mary’s Law Weekend and Reunion, San Antonio, TX, March 29, 2019
- Speaker, Ethics in Immigration Law: Remaining True to Your Clients While Upholding Your Ethical Duties, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Defiant Lawyering: Empathy, Audacity, and Skill, Spring CLE, San Antonio, TX, March 29, 2019
- Panelist, Identifying and Raising Capacity and Mental Competency Issues in Children’s Immigration Cases, Children’s Immigration Law Academy, National Webinar, January 22, 2018
- Panelist, Lawyering in a Hostile Climate, 2018 AALS Clinical Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Chicago, IL, April 30, 2018
- Panelist, The Multiple Legal and Social Facets of Mass Immigration Detention in the United States, paper presented: Why Appointed Counsel Will Never Be Enough, 2017 International Meeting on Law and Society, Mexico City, Mexico, June 21, 2017.
- Speaker, U.S. Asylum Law and Procedure, presentation made for members of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Webcast from Austin, TX, May 31, 2017
- Commentary: Return of Haitians a Violation of U.S. Law, San Antonio Express-News (Sept. 29, 2021).
- Trumps Immigration Order Reflect Fantasy, Fear, San Antonio Express-News (Feb. 5, 2017).