These are interesting times for students and practitioners of immigration law. And as a result, William J. Quirk, Esq. finds himself plenty busy.
In addition to servicing a full slate of clients at his law firm, Quirk Law, LLC, Professor Quirk teaches courses in immigration, criminal and constitutional law at STAC, including Immigration Law and Policy, a course he designed. He says that although he always knew he wanted to be an attorney, his specialty in immigration law was somewhat unexpected.
“My start in immigration law was strictly a job opportunity at first. When I was finishing my clerkship in New Jersey, the market was thin and there were very few jobs available in the public sector,” Professor Quirk explains. “I found an opening at a firm that did immigration work, took the job and learned immigration law. Then I went out on my own.”
And he says he’s glad he did.
“It’s great to be able to serve people who are the least advantaged and have a lot to lose in immigration situations. There are very few jobs in which people can have the unique ability to keep families together in the United States, which is very important to me.”
He says current events make for some lively discussions in class and provide a wealth of teaching opportunities.
“A lot of students do not watch the news, so educating them on issues starts at Step 1. We need to educate them before getting into the issue at hand,” Professor Quirk says. “Students are so into Facebook that they don’t consume traditional media. When they start to pay attention to what’s going on in the world, you can see the light turn on. It’s a great process and experience.”
Professor Quirk earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at The College of New Jersey while working for Governors Christie Todd Whitman and Donald DiFrancesco as a writer in the Office of Constituent Relations. After graduating, he attended Seton Hall University School of Law and went on to clerk for the Hon. William C. Meehan, presiding judge of the Superior Court, Criminal Division, in Hackensack, New Jersey. He then went on to practice as an associate in a private practice in Englewood, New Jersey in the areas of criminal law, immigration law, municipal court and family law.
He says his ability to bring real and current case law into the classroom is a benefit of being both a practicing attorney and a college professor.
“It happens in every single class. I get to explain factual situations that real people have gone through. Real-world experience is what students gravitate toward,” Professor Quirk says. “It brings me a lot of happiness to be able to teach things I’ve experienced. If I reach one student and get him or her to do something spectacular, then I’ve done more than I could have ever imagined.”
Professor Quirk can be reached at [email protected].