The Commission on Immigration provides many opportunities to make an impact through pro bono service. We empower our volunteers with the knowledge and support that they need to make a difference. Our volunteer opportunities range from counsel and advice to full case representation, so you can find something that matches your interests and schedule. Remote and in-person opportunities are available. Whether you volunteer at a remote legal clinic or take an asylum case, expert mentors are available every step of the way to guide you throughout your volunteer experience.
Fill out our Volunteer Interest Survey to express an interest in volunteering, and read on to learn more!
Learn about our Current Volunteer Opportunities
The Commission on Immigration offers pro bono opportunities nationwide, in collaboration with our offsite projects. Watch the below video to learn about the COI’s projects and pro bono program.
The COI offers a wide array of pro bono projects to meet your interests and accommodate your schedule.
Light-Touch Pro Bono
Virtual Pro Se Plus Asylum Project
- COI and HIAS have partnered to provide information and limited scope (Pro Se+) representation to Afghan parolees seeking asylum. The “Pro Se+” Project connects clients with attorneys and law firms. Attorneys will provide short-term virtual representation to asylum seekers, including asylum application drafting, affidavit preparation, country conditions research, evidence gathering, and orientation on the asylum interview process. An accompanying Asylum Pro Se + Pro Bono Toolkit will provide attorneys and firms participating in this project with substantive training and support in this work. Additionally, COI and HIAS have created a four-part substantive training series to assist lawyers representing Afghan asylum applicants. COI and HIAS also offer ongoing mentorship via virtual, weekly office hours, where pro bono attorneys may drop in with questions or ask for guidance from experienced immigration attorneys. To volunteer for the Pro Se+ Project, sign up here.
- In addition, to assist all Afghan asylum seekers who plan to pursue their asylum claims pro se, ABA/HIAS developed a comprehensive Pro Se+ Asylum toolkit, which has been translated into Dari and Pashto.
ABA Federal Free Legal Answers
- ABA Federal Free Legal Answers: COI seeks attorneys with immigration experience to provide short-term legal advice to low-income individuals who post immigration questions on this confidential, secure website. Download flyers for potential volunteers and users. For more information about volunteering with Federal Free Legal Answers watch this webinar: Link here.
Take a Case
Represent an Adult or Family Group in Immigration Proceedings
- Two of COI’s projects, South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) and the Immigration Justice Project (IJP), are seeking volunteers to provide representation to detained and non-detained adult immigrants and family groups in removal defense cases (asylum, withholding, and cancellation of removal), custody petitions (bond and parole), representation before USCIS (asylum, U-Visas, VAWA, and SIJS), and appeals and habeas cases in federal court. Training materials and mentorship are provided. This opportunity is appropriate for new or experienced attorneys. Click here to learn more about what it’s like to volunteer with the COI, and to hear more about the expert mentorship you will receive if you take a direct representation case.
- Click here to view available opportunities to represent family groups who have been placed on the Family Group Dedicated Docket, an expedited immigration court docket that aims to adjudicate claims within 300 days of the first immigration court hearing. The innovative Pro Bono Matters for Families Facing Deportation platform includes nationwide opportunities to help families in the eleven Dedicated Docket cities. View the platform to see how you can help a family in removal proceedings in a city near you.
Represent Immigrant Youth
- The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA), a project of the COI, is an expert legal resource center that empowers advocates who guide children through complex immigration legal procedures. CILA builds capacity for those working to advance the rights of children seeking protection through trainings, technical assistance, and collaboration. CILA hosts an innovative online platform, Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation, where nonprofit organizations from across the country post available opportunities for volunteers to assist immigrant children. Click here for current cases that are available through the Pro Bono Matters platform!
Be a Mentor
Mentor Other Volunteers
- Mentor Other Volunteers: COI provides mentorship to pro bono attorneys who take COI cases for direct representation. Experienced immigration attorneys can volunteer to mentor other pro bono attorneys throughout their representation. Mentor volunteers do not provide direct representation, rather, they guide other volunteers by providing advice, reviewing documents before they are filed with the court, and helping the volunteer prepare for court. This is an invaluable service that allows us to increase COI’s capacity to place cases with pro bono attorneys.