Detention, Deportation, Defense Initiative
The Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative (“DDDI” or “Initiative”) is a state-funded program that provides pro bono immigration counsel to indigent New Jerseyans in removal proceedings. Seton Hall Law’s Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic of the Center for Social Justice has participated in DDDI since its launch in 2018, along with Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Rutgers Newark Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic.
New Jersey has been one of the key states at the forefront of expanding access to counsel for noncitizens facing deportation and family separation. In 2016, as part of Judge Michael Chagares’s Working Group on Immigrant Representation in New Jersey, Seton Hall Law’s Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic issued a report entitled Deportation Without Representation: The Access-to-Justice Crisis Facing New Jersey's Immigrant Families. The report revealed that only about one-third of detainees in New Jersey had access to legal representation during the length of the study. Following the publication of the study, under the leadership of Professor Lori A. Nessel, Seton Hall Law’s Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic worked together with several community organizations and legal associations to raise awareness about this issue. The State of New Jersey then funded a pilot project that provided legal representation to detained individuals with low incomes at risk of deportation. The funding has been renewed each year under the direction of Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature. Most recently, the state of New Jersey allocated $8.2 million for fiscal year 2023-2024, thus continuing its support of access to counsel for noncitizens in New Jersey. Legal Services of New Jersey coordinates the funding from the State and Seton Hall Law School receives its funding as a sub-grantee of LSNJ.
Seton Hall Law School’s component of the DDDI provides opportunities for clinical, pro bono, and extern students to gain hands-on experience representing detained and formerly detained noncitizens fighting deportation. Students are involved in all aspects of the case work, from initial interviews and certification drafting, to country conditions research, appearance in immigration hearings, and drafting federal appellate briefs.
Learn more about the work of the DDDI here:
The program is directed by Professor Lori A. Nessel and staffed by Managing Attorney Glykeria Teji, Assistant Clinical Professor Amelia Wilson, Practitioners in Residence Kimberly Medina and Katie O’Marra, Immigration Detention Fellow Corinna Goodman, and Paralegal Florencia DePaola. Current Seton Hall Law students who are interested in volunteering with the program should contact Glykeria Teji.
The DDDI Team
Glykeria Teji, Managing Attorney
S.J.D., Widener University, Delaware Law School|LL.M., Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Glykeria Teji is an immigration attorney with a background in removal defense, and particularly, the intersection of criminal and immigration law. She serves as Managing Attorney of the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative in the Center for Social Justice of Seton Hall Law. Prior to her current role, Teji was awarded a one-year fellowship at Justice in Motion to conceptualize, design, and implement a pilot project that would facilitate migrant children's release from U.S. detention using a model of cross-border collaborations. She also served as Senior Staff Attorney at Make the Road New York (MRNY), where she represented non-citizens in removal proceedings and worked to advance Long Island residents’ rights. Prior to MRNY, Teji worked at a public defense setting (Brooklyn Defender Services) for approximately five years starting in 2012, first as a DOJ Accredited Representative, and then as a law graduate/attorney.
Dr. Teji graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Law in 2010; she subsequently received a Master’s in Law (LL.M.) from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she also participated in the school's year-long Immigration Justice Clinic. Apart from her full-time studies and clinical work, while at Cardozo, Dr. Teji was awarded a scholarship to travel to Ecuador and work with Colombian women refugees. She was also a recipient of the Dean's Merit Scholarship for the duration of her studies.
In April 2022, Teji was awarded the title of Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) at Widener University, Delaware Law School. Her dissertation research was focused on mentally ill noncitizens in removal proceedings, the legal framework surrounding the same, and a comparison of the U.S. immigration and criminal justice systems. While at Widener University, Teji was also granted a teaching fellowship at the Dignity Rights Practicum of Delaware Law, where she assisted with teaching the Practicum and supporting projects emerging from the same. One such project involves the publication of a report on Migration with Dignity, a collaborative effort with the Environmental Law Institute and the International Organization for Migration. Teji is admitted to practice in New York.
Kimberly Medina, Practitioner in Residence
J.D., University of Minnesota Law School|B.A., University of South Carolina
Kimberly Medina is the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation student of higher education. She joined the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic as an Immigration Detention Fellow in November 2020, as part of the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative, which provides pro bono legal representation to detained non-citizens before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. In July 2022, she was promoted to a position in the Clinic as a Practitioner in Residence.
Prior to joining the Clinic, Kimberly was a Supervised Practitioner at the University of Minnesota Law School’s Detainee Rights Clinic, as well as a Research Assistant to Professor Stephen Meili, which led her to participate in a semester of fieldwork with La Universidad Iberoamericana’s Clínica Jurídica para Refugiados Alaíde Foppa and el Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal, AC, in Mexico City.
Kimberly earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School in November 2020, where she was a Robina Public Interest Scholar, graduated with an immigration law concentration and was awarded the 2020 Excellence in Public Service and Human Rights Center Awards. Kimberly earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from the University of South Carolina in 2017, where she graduated summa cum laude, with honors from the South Carolina Honors College and a minor in Portuguese. Kimberly is admitted to practice in Minnesota.
Katie O’Marra, Practitioner in Residence
J.D., Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law|B.A., Fordham University
Katie O’Marra is a Practitioner in Residence in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic as part of the state-funded Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative. Katie started as a Detention Fellow with the Clinic and was promoted to Practitioner in Residence in April 2022.
Prior to joining the Clinic, Katie participated in the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law for two years, as a Clinic Intern and Advanced Clinic Intern. During her time in the Immigration Justice Clinic, Katie gained experience before the immigration courts and federal courts in a wide range of immigrant defense topics, particularly at the intersection of criminal and immigration law.
Katie earned her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2020 and was awarded the National Association of Women Lawyers Award for her work in the Immigration Justice Clinic. She earned a B.A. from Fordham University in International Political Economy, Sociology, and Arabic. Katie is admitted to practice in New York.
Corinna Goodman, Detention Fellow
J.D., Northwestern Pritzker School of Law|B.A., Skidmore College
Corinna Goodman is an Immigration Detention Fellow in the Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, where she represents detained and non-detained noncitizens in immigration proceedings as part of the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative.
Prior to joining the Center for Social Justice, Corinna was a Legal Fellow at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, D.C., where she worked on strategic litigation and advocacy projects on issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers in the United States. She has completed internships with CAIR Coalition, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center and participated in Northwestern's Immigration Clinic, through which she gained experience working on a wide variety of immigration and refugee cases.
Corinna earned her J.D. cum laude from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and her B.A. magna cum laude from Skidmore College, where she double majored in Political Science and International Affairs. She is admitted to practice in New York.
Florencia DePaola, Paralegal
B.S., Purdue University Global
Florencia is a first-generation college graduate and law student. She is an immigrant from Uruguay who came to the United States with her family when she was 5 years old. Currently, Florencia is a 3L in the Weekend Program at Seton Hall University School of Law and is expected to graduate in 2024. For her undergraduate education, Florencia graduated magna cum laude from Purdue University Global in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she worked full-time and built a career in the financial industry at a banking institution in Union, New Jersey. She rose through the ranks starting as a teller and progressed to become a branch manager in just three years. As a branch manager, Florencia developed significant skills in leadership, management, and community relations. She supervised a team that provided financial services to clients, trained current and new employees on operational and sales skills, and built relationships with the community, making connections with local business owners and participating in public events. Florencia then transitioned into the company’s compliance department, where she worked as a Bank Secrecy Act Investigator, tracking account transactions, escalating suspicious activity, and ensuring compliance with all Federal and State banking regulations. Florencia later transitioned into the legal field, working at a small criminal defense and family law firm in Freehold, New Jersey as a paralegal before joining the Center for Social Justice.
If you have an immigration-related matter or would like to refer a case to the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative, please call the number listed below or email us at [email protected]. Since the CSJ can only accept a limited number of cases each year, our staff strives to provide an appropriate referral or links to online resources when we cannot take a case.
Seton Hall University School of Law
Center for Social Justice
833 McCarter Highway
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Phone: (973) 642-8700, M-F, 9-5
Email: [email protected]
Furthermore, Seton Hall Law School faculty and students conduct Know Your Rights sessions in the community. Contact us at [email protected] if you are interested in hosting a community education session on immigration law.