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Pro Bono Training: The Essentials of Immigration Court Representation

Speaker Biographies - Pro Bono Training: The Essentials of Immigration Court Representation


Holly S. Cooper

Holly S. Cooper was appointed to the Commission on 2012.  She is Associate Director of the University of California, Davis School of Law’s Immigration Law Clinic.  Ms. Cooper’s principle focus is on the rights of immigrant detainees and legal remedies that exist to challenge unlawful confinement.   She is also an expert in analyzing state criminal laws and their impact on an immigrant’s legal status, eligibility for relief from deportation, and ability to travel.  Her specialty encompasses general removal defenses for immigrants with a focus on removal defenses for immigrants with criminal histories, as well as post-conviction relief for immigrants. 

Ms. Cooper has worked at large and small law firms in the areas of insurance defense and deportation defense.  Subsequently, she worked in rural Arizona to initiate the nation’s pilot program for detained unaccompanied immigrant minors.  She took a position at the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project in Florence, Arizona where she spearheaded a legal orientation program for detained immigrant children caught at the U.S.-Mexico border, and quickly became a leading expert on detained immigrant children’s rights.  In that capacity, she presented testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the failings of the detention system. Ms. Cooper also worked on adult detainees’ cases, developed a specialty in criminal-immigration defense, and developed pro se materials for immigrants on common state offenses as well as on habeas corpus petitions for indefinite detainees.  In collaboration with the Maricopa County Public Defenders’ Office and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, she co-authored a reference article that dissected the most common Arizona offenses and analyzed their immigration impact.

Ms. Cooper has presented seven oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the last six years.  After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, her former law firm, Reed Smith LLP, invited her to assist with a human rights delegation to Haiti.  The delegation assisted injured Haitians with humanitarian parole and medical visas to the United States.  She has also assisted in nationwide fundraising efforts for victims of gender-based violence in the tent camps in Haiti.  In collaboration with Reed Smith LLP, she has opened a safe house for rape victims, helped to provide clean water to prisoners, and helped amputees receive prosthetic limbs at the Hanger Clinic in the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti.

Ms. Cooper has received multiple awards, including in 2007 an award from the UC Davis Immigration Clinic Alumni Council for her public interest work; and, in 2011, the King Hall Legal Foundation’s Outstanding Alumni Award.  Most recently in October of 2011, the National Lawyers Guild gave her the Carol Weiss King Award for her outstanding teaching, creative litigation strategies, as well as her generosity in mentoring other lawyers. 

Ms. Cooper has authored articles on detention litigation strategies, and co-authored the original Arizona public defenders’ guide.  Ms. Cooper also trains lawyers on a national level.  Her expertise, including in issues relating to asylum and unaccompanied immigrant children, would make her a valuable addition to the Advisory Committee.

Andrea Del-Pan

Andrea Del-Pan is a Senior Attorney and Project Director for Legal Services for Children’s (LSC) Detained Immigrant Children Project in San Francisco, CA.  In addition to overseeing the delivery of legal services to unaccompanied minors in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in Northern California, Ms. Del-Pan mentors LSC pro bono attorneys who represent released children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and provides direct representation to children in their immigration, legal guardianship and juvenile dependency matters.  Prior to joining LSC, Ms. Del-Pan managed the Tacoma office of TeamChild, a non-profit legal services agency in Washington State.  At TeamChild, Ms. Del-Pan represented at-risk and incarcerated youth on their civil legal needs, including school discipline, enrollment and special education issues.  Ms. Del-Pan received her J.D. from University of San Francisco School of Law and her B.A. from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Judge Bruce J. Einhorn

Judge Bruce J. Einhorn has served on the Commission on Immigration since 2010.  Judge Einhorn is renowned for his dedication and contributions to international humanitarian causes and for setting judicial precedent in United States civil and immigration law.  Judge Einhorn presided over civil prosecutions initiated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for 17 years. As a longtime civil rights activist and Anti-Defamation League leader, Judge Einhorn is very familiar with federal and state civil rights laws.  He served from 1979-1990 as a special prosecutor and as Chief of Litigation for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), where he conducted trial depositions and treaty negotiations in foreign countries and participated in appellate arguments in the U.S. Supreme and Federal Circuit Courts.  He is an author, a scholar and a professor of law, teaching Professional Liability and other topics at Pepperdine University School of Law.  Judge Einhorn is a frequent lecturer and legal education seminar leader for national and international organizations on the topics of immigration law and reform and health care law and medical malpractice; author of articles and op-ed pieces on human rights and related topics. He has spoken on panels to share his perspective as a former judge, including a Commission panel at the 2011 ABA Midyear Meeting, “Pro Bono Immigration Assistance in Atlanta: A Dire Need.” Judge Einhorn received his J.D. from New York University Law School, Phi Beta Kappa (1978), and his B.A. magna cum laude from Columbia College of Columbia University (1975).  He recently published an article on reforming the immigration court system, and would provide a valuable voice as the ABA advocates for immigration adjudication reform based on policy resolutions adopted in February 2010.  In addition, he is the principal author of the modern U.S. law on asylum and refugees.

Robin Goldfaden

Robin Goldfaden joined Lawyers’ Committee in July 2012 as the senior attorney for the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. Previously, Robin worked at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she co-taught and supervised students in the Refugee & Human Rights Clinic. She also served as a senior staff attorney with Hastings’ Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. At the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, she was as a senior staff attorney focused on challenging unlawful immigration detention and unconstitutional conditions of confinement, post-9/11 national security policies and practices, racial profiling and other forms of discrimination, unlawful immigration arrests, due process deprivations, and limitations on judicial review of agency decisions. Prior to the ACLU, Robin was a NAPIL (now Equal Justice Works) Fellow at Disability Rights Advocates and a judicial clerk for Judge Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Fortunato P. Benavides of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Robin is a graduate of Brown University and received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

Karen T. Grisez

Karen T. Grisez is full time Public Service Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.  Karen is the immediate past Chair of the ABA Commission on Immigration and a current member of its Advisory Committee.  She is also a former co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Immigration Litigation Committee.  She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the DC AILA Chapter's Asylum Office Liaison  Committee, as well as a former Trustee of the American Immigration Council. Karen also serves on the boards of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, the Center for Migration Studies, the Washington Council of Lawyers, and is a Trustee of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs.  Ms. Grisez received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and her J.D. from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America.  She has successfully represented numerous asylum applicants and other immigrants before the Asylum Offices, Immigration Judges, the BIA and in federal court and litigates a variety of other immigration-related matters.  She also speaks frequently on immigration-related topics.

Christina A. Fiflis

Christina Fiflis practices immigration law in Colorado, with offices in Denver and Boulder. She is  Chair of the ABA Commission on Immigration and Vice Chair of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division's Pro Bono and Public Service Committee.   Ms. Fiflis is a past-chapter chair of the Colorado American Immigration Lawyers Association and served on AILA's Military Assistance Program Task Force. Ms. Fiflis dedicates a significant portion of her practice to pro bono representation of respondents in immigration proceedings.

Raha Jorjani

Raha Jorjani is a Supervising Attorney and Lecturer in the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic.  Since beginning her legal practice, she has defended immigrants from detention and deportation before the Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and Federal Courts including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Jorjani’s practice and scholarship focus on the intersection between Immigration and Criminal Law.  In addition to representing immigrants detained primarily on the basis of criminal convictions, she regularly advises and trains public defenders and members of the immigration bar on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.  Jorjani also provides technical assistance and training to state court judges and prosecutors on the intersection of criminal and immigration law.  Prior to joining the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic in Fall 2007, she was a Staff Attorney with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona where she directly represented immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security in addition to providing pro-se legal assistance to hundreds of detainees who could not afford legal representation.  

Angie Junck

Angie Junck joined the Advisory Committee in 2012.  She has been a staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) in San Francisco, California since 2005.  Her expertise is on the intersection between the immigration and the criminal, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems.  She works regularly with criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare agencies to track the issues facing immigrants in those systems and advocate on their behalf.  She coordinates national projects on the cross over of these systems including: the Defending Immigrants Project to assist public defenders mitigate the immigration consequences of crime and delinquency, the Immigrant Justice Network, to build a movement to end unjust penalties and immigration enforcement against immigrants entangled in the criminal justice system, and the Immigrant Youth Justice Initiative, to end immigration enforcement in the juvenile justice system and mitigate immigration consequences of delinquency for youth.  Ms. Junck is a co-author of numerous ILRC publications including Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit: The Impact of Crimes under California and Other State Laws, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Other Immigration Options for Children and Youth, and Immigration Benchbook for Juvenile and Family Courts.  She is an advisory board member and volunteer with California Coalition for Women Prisoners, the only criminal justice group in California that has a project to work directly with immigrant prisoners.  Prior to joining the ILRC, she worked on post-conviction relief for immigrants at the Law Offices of Norton Tooby and advocated on behalf of incarcerated survivors of domestic violence as a coordinator of the statewide coalition Free Battered Women and a member of the Habeas Project.

Parisa Karaahmet

Prior to joining Fragomen, Parisa served as an Assistant District Counsel and Acting Deputy District Counsel for the Immigration & Naturalization Service, New York District. At Fragomen, she leads a team that specializes in individual and complex immigration matters and also manages a number of corporate accounts. Her area of specialty includes advising clients with respect to criminal and other inadmissibility grounds, employer sanctions, EB-5, E-verify and I-9 compliance and enforcement.

On the corporate Compliance advisory group side, Parisa represents a variety of large, mid-size and smaller companies in their immigration matters, including those in the financial services, medical, pharmaceutical, and technology sectors. She also regularly advises academic institutions and hospitals in their immigration matters.

Christine Lin

Christine Lin is a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic at UC Hastings College of the Law and Staff Attorney at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. Prior to joining UC Hastings, she served as the Legal Director of Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal representation to asylum seekers in their refugee status determination claims before the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

Christine has co-taught refugee legal assistance clinics at the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and has presented on a variety of topics at refugee legal aid trainings and conferences in the Asia Pacific region. 

Christine previously worked at a private immigration law firm in San Francisco, where she represented asylum seekers, torture claimants, victims of domestic violence, and non-citizens with criminal convictions. Through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, Christine clerked at the Los Angeles Immigration Court.  Christine received her J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law, her Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, and her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.

Cindy C. Liou

Cindy C. Liou is a staff attorney at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. Cindy currently practices law in the areas of human trafficking, immigration law, family law, and domestic violence. She is the Coordinator for the Human Trafficking Project at the agency. Cindy has also co-counseled several civil litigation cases on behalf of human trafficking survivors. She is the winner of the 2013 San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking Modern Day Abolitionist Award for Policy and Advocacy. The San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women also passed a resolution in 2013 to honor her anti-trafficking efforts. Cindy is also the co-author of several articles and the second edition of the manual Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking. Before working at API Legal Outreach, Cindy handled a variety of pro bono cases at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, ranging from asylum to police misconduct cases. Cindy graduated from Stanford Law School, and before becoming an attorney, she consulted for the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of Starbucks Coffee Company.

Immigration Judge Laura Ramirez

Judge Ramirez was appointed as an Immigration Judge in March 1997. She received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1982, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. In 1985, Judge Ramirez worked as a research assistant focusing on asylum for Professor Carolyn Blum at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. She also served as asylum program coordinator, San Francisco Lawyers Committee, from 1985 to 1986. Judge Ramirez served as regional coordinator, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., in San Francisco from 1987 to 1994. From 1994 to 1997, she was supervising attorney and adjunct professor at Santa Clara University, School of Law, in Santa Clara, California. Judge Ramirez is a member of the California Bar.