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Pro Bono Program Offers Two Asylum Trainings This Spring

February 3, 2014

The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program will offer two comprehensive trainings this spring for attorneys interested in representing asylum seekers pro bono. Asylum is a form of protection available to people fleeing persecution in their home countries due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

On March 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Pro Bono Program will hold a basic training to prepare pro bono attorneys to represent indigent clients in asylum cases at the affirmative stage, as well as detained individuals. Topics include U.S. asylum law, working with victims of trauma, preparing the I-589 application form, documenting asylum cases, credible and reasonable fear interviews, and practice before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum Office.

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To prepare pro bono attorneys who encounter more advanced issues in their asylum cases, the Pro Bono Program will offer an advanced training on April 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Topics include asylum based on social group, including gender claims and gang claims; bars to asylum; and alternative forms of fear-based immigration relief, such as withholding of removal and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Practice before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals will also be discussed.

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Both trainings are appropriate for attorneys, paralegals, and law students. Training participants are strongly encouraged to accept a pro bono referral from one of the sponsoring organizations. Attorneys who agree to take a pro bono case in the future must be admitted to practice in some U.S. jurisdiction and have their own malpractice insurance.

The trainings presented in collaboration with Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Human Rights First, and Whitman-Walker Health, and are cosponsored by the Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, Tahirih Justice Center, and the D.C. Bar Litigation Section and International Law Section.

Both trainings will be held at the D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street NW, first floor.

For more information, contact the Pro Bono Program at 202-626-3489.