The Commission on Immigration has developed free resources to help you with your pro bono representation. Keep scrolling to view our library of written practice guides and recorded webinars.
Family Group Dedicated Docket Pro Bono Manual (updated Oct. 2022): The Pro Bono Manual is a comprehensive, 160+ page guide that is designed to assist volunteers and practitioners who are representing families on the dedicated docket. The Manual includes sections on Common Forms of Relief in Immigration Court and before USCIS; Effective Representation; Ethical Considerations; an Introduction to Immigration Court; an Introduction to USCIS; and Practical Pointers. In addition to easily digestible information, the Manual provides links to specific resources and checklists to help with effective representation. The Commission will periodically update the Pro Bono Manual as information changes and relevant developments occur.
Practice Advisory: Seeking Prosecutorial Discretion (updated Sept. 2023): The Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) Practice Advisory includes an overview of various PD Memos and explains best practices for how to request PD and what types of discretion to seek. The Advisory includes a template PD request.
- Ethics of Representing Families on the Dedicated Docket(updated Feb. 2022): The Ethics Guide provides information on best practices for representing family groups, including information on conducting intakes, determining when a conflict may arise in representing a family unit, language to include in a legal services agreement, and special issues when representing spouses and children.
- Practice Guide for Seeking Expedited Adjudications, Short-Notice Lists, and Case Assistance (updated Nov 2022): The Practice Guide for Seeking Expedited Adjudications, Short-Notice Lists, and Case Assistance provides information and guidance on how to request that a case is expedited before USCIS. The guide explains when it might be appropriate to make such a request, and the different types of requests available, and the process for seeking one of these requests.
- Practice Guide for Statements as Evidence: Drafting and Editing Declarations, Affidavits, and Letters (Updated June 2022): The Practice Guide for Statements as Evidence offers an overview of the types of statements, experts, and witnesses in immigration cases as well as practical tips and considerations for drafting declarations or affidavits. The guide also includes samples of a client declaration, expert declaration, and consent to release/exchange confidential information.
- ABA CILA & COI Pro Bono Program Resources & Templates Toolkit [PDF Link] (July 2022): The 92-page Pro Bono Toolkit details best practices, considerations, and resources for organizations with new or evolving pro bono programs working with children, youth, and/or families in immigration cases. The Toolkit includes templates for programs to use in PDF format.
- Quick Guide: Motions to Reopen in Immigration Court for Cases on the Dedicated Docket [PDF Link] (September 2022): This guide focuses on Motions to Reopen specifically before immigration courts. It is intended to be a brief overview of the process and content required.
- Quick Guide: Navigating Difficult Conversations Between Pro Bono Coordinators and Pro Bono Attorneys [PDF Link] (October 2022): This Quick Guide is intended to help ensure productive and honest conversations between supervising or pro bono coordinators (hereinafter collectively “pro bono coordinators”) and pro bono attorneys when those conversations become challenging.
- Quick Guide: Engaging Country Conditions Experts in Asylum Cases(December 2022): This Quick Guide is intended to overview some of the common questions new-to-immigration attorneys may have on engaging country conditions experts.
- Resource Guide for New-to-Immigration Attorneys (October 2022) General go-to resources.
- Quick Guide: Screening Family Groups in Removal Proceedings (Janaury 2023) This Quick Guide is intended to help individuals set clients up for success during their legal screenings by performing the intakes in a way that respects trauma-informed lawyering and cultural humility.
- Prosecutorial Discretion Quick Guide (February 2023) This chart provides an overview of potential PD requests, and the pros and cons to each type of request.
- Practice Guide: Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in Removal Proceeding (March 2023) TPS is a short-term immigration benefit that gives temporary lawful status, the ability to apply for employment authorization, and the ability to request travel authorization to nationals of designated countries. This Practice Guide will focus on TPS for Haitians.