AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter

Pro Bono Newsletter, Winter 2013

Issue link: http://ailahub.aila.org/i/116743

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PRO BONO PLEDGE from pg.4 >> Some other striking numbers: In 1980 there were approximately 83 organized pro bono programs dedicated towards referring civil matters for lowincome clients to private attorneys. More than twentyfive years later, there are over 900 such programs, and AILA has two of our very own in AILA MAP and AD2. AILA's Pro Bono Pledge and Program Goals Anecdotally, we know that immigration attorneys are among the most generous of the bar with the time they devote to pro bono legal work. Help AILA prove it! AILA's Pro Bono Pledge is an association-wide effort to inspire and support each other to publicly commit (or recommit) ourselves to pro bono service. The Pro Bono Pledge distinguishes 4 levels of achievement to which an AILA member can aspire, and seeks to reward and showcase your good deeds. The Pledge encompass a full range of activities, all without expectation of payment, to provide, influence, and direct pro bono immigration legal services to meet the unmet legal needs of disadvantaged immigrants. Our broken immigration system continues to foster the need for immigration legal assistance and the need is greater than ever before. Doing pro bono work is a choice. It is a choice that defines who you are as a professional and what you believe. The groundswell of need lingers, and will only become more evident in the coming months as immigration reform takes shape. Deirdre M. Giblin is a lawyer in the Immigration Unit at Community Legal Services and Counseling Center and specializes in refugee and asylum law. Ohio Chapter Events Help Clients and Attorneys by Stacy Cozart T o celebrate Pro Bono Week 2012, the Ohio AILA Chapter held two pro bono-related events last fall: one for attorneys, and one for clients. The first, a three-hour CLE, had a tremendous turnout. Each participant agreed to be included on the list of volunteer attorneys who will provide pro bono representation for indigent respondents in Ohio. The CLE had special guests from the Cleveland EOIR including Judge Alison Brown, Judge Thomas W. Janas, and Court Administrator Bill Roder. ICE Assistant Chief Counsel Jeremy Santoro and Bruce Imbacuan also attended. The event started with an open forum, hosted by Judges Janas and Brown, where the Judges shared their insights on filing expectations, policies/procedures for different motions, and the extreme importance of complying with the Immigration Court Practice Manual. Scott Bratton and Jennifer Peyton, both private practitioners, provided practical guidance on preparing for the merits hearing, including using opening and closing statements, interpreter issues and objections, and preparation for hearings. The highlight of the CLE was a ninety-minute, mock non-lawful permanent resident cancellation of removal hearing, coordinated by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the C. Lyonel Jones Pro Bono Committee, with assistance from the Cleveland EOIR and Cleveland district counsel. CLE participants volunteered as respondent and government counsel and were guided by Attorneys Jennifer Peyton and Scott Bratton (for the respondent) and Attorneys Bruce Imbacuan and Jeremy Santoro (for the government). The prepared materials included a mock 42B application, criminal records, physical presence documents, tax returns, and a medical statement. Judge Janas presided over the hearing, and at times, respondent and government counsel would take a "time out" to supplement the hearing with practical details and observations. In addition to the materials, CLE participants were able to watch the examination of three witnesses: the respondent (a father of three from Mexico, capably portrayed by private attorney Michael Sharon), his eleven year old daughter (played by Jennifer Peyton's daughter, Margaret), and the daughter's 5th grade teacher (played by Lauren Gilbride, Supervising Attorney for Volunteer Lawyers Program from the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland). The next morning, Ohio AILA, again with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and a host of law students and volunteer immigration attorneys, continued their efforts with a brief advice/ refugee adjustment of status clinic. The volunteers assisted seven refugee families in applying for their permanent resident status. Additionally, volunteers handled both immigration brief advice and naturalization questions. This was a great final event to wrap-up another fanstastic week of pro bono service. Stacy Cozart is Pro-Bono Liaison and Treasurer for the Ohio AILA Chapter and is a member of the National Pro-Bono Committee. www.aila.org 5

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