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Erica B. Schommer

Clinical Professor of Law

 

Programs

Education

  • 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

  • Texas

Specialties and Courses

  • Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Honors and Awards

  • Pro Bono Award, AILA Washington State Chapter, 2012

Biography

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.

Publications

  • 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

Presentations

  • Speaker, “Mental Health and Immigration Law,” Vera Institute of Justice, National Qualified Legal Representative On-Site Training Program, Los Angeles, CA, July 2014
  • Speaker, “Overview of Removal Proceedings,” Washington State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, Immigration Fundamentals for Attorneys, Seattle, WA, January 2014
  • Speaker, “Advanced VAWA Issues,” AILA Texas Chapter Spring Conference, South Padre Island, TX, April 2013
  • Speaker, “Bond, Mandatory Detention, and Introduction to Habeas Corpus,” AILA Northwest Regional Immigration Law Conference, Seattle, WA, March 2013
  • Speaker, “Removal Proceedings in Immigration Court – Model Hearing Program,” Volunteer Advocates for Immigration Justice (VAIJ), Tacoma, WA, July 2012
  • Speaker, “Detention Issues and Secure Communities,” AILA Northwest Regional Immigration Law Conference, Seattle, WA, March 2012
  • Speaker, “Immigration Remedies for Vulnerable Populations: U and T visas,” Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and South Texas Pro Bono Representation Project Pro Bono Training, Harlingen, TX, February 2010
  • Speaker, “Adjusting Status for Those Who Have Not Been Inspected or Admitted: T, U, and VAWA Alternatives, Updates, and Changes,” University of Texas School of Law, Continuing Legal Education, 33rd Annual Immigration and Nationality Law Conference, San Antonio, TX, October 2009
  • Speaker, “Human Trafficking 101: How to Identify and Serve Human Trafficking Victims,” Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, Rooting Ourselves in Social Justice, Austin, TX, March 2009
  • Speaker, “Practice Issues and Immigration Options for Vulnerable Populations,” University of Texas School of Law, Continuing Legal Education, 32nd Annual Immigration and Nationality Law Conference, San Antonio, TX, October 2008

Media Highlights

  • Trumps Immigration Order Reflect Fantasy, Fear, San Antonio Express-News, February 5, 2017