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Events and Training Sessions

Pro Bono Attorney Trainings

The ABA Immigration Justice Project offers introductory and intermediate trainings on representing clients in removal proceedings three to four times per year. Training topics cover various forms of immigration relief and immigration court procedure. As trainings are scheduled they will be posted here and on the IJP's Facebook page.

For more information, please contact the IJP at

Recent Events

How the ABA is Serving Detained Immigrants During Covid-19

June 11, 2020

  • Did you know that the ABA Commission on Immigration operates three projects in Texas and California that promote due process and access to counsel for migrants and asylum seekers? Learn more about the work of the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project ("ProBAR"), which provides free legal information and services to detained adult migrants and unaccompanied children; the Immigration Justice Project ("IJP"), which provides pro bono information and services to adult migrants and asylum seekers appearing before the San Diego and Otay Mesa immigration courts; and the Children's Immigration Law Academy ("CILA") in Houston, Texas, which serves as a legal resource center for attorneys representing migrant children. Staff from each of the three projects discussed challenges facing adults detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and unaccompanied children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, how their work has changed during COVID-19, and how lawyers can assist adult migrants detained in South Texas and San Diego with requesting release on parole. CART services will be available.



  •  Priscilla Orta, Senior Staff Attorney, South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)
  •  Ambreen Walji, Pro Bono Coordinator and Staff Attorney, ABA Immigration Justice Project (IJP) 
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) 
  • Moderator: Jennie Kneedler, Staff Attorney, ABA Commission on Immigration

Immigration Policy and Practice during the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 15, 2020

This webinar discusses how actions the federal government has taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic have impacted the immigrant community and what additional steps are needed to effectively enforce immigration laws while safeguarding both public health and fundamental due process rights during a national pandemic. On January 31, 2020, ​Secretary of Health and Human Services ​Alex Azar declared a nationwide public health emergency due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a respiratory virus and infectious disease that is highly contagious and can result in serious illness, even death. In March, the President declared a national emergency ​due to COVID-19. As of March 30, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control was reporting 140,904 verified cases and 2,405 deaths in the United States. This virus has resulted in federal, state, and local governments ordering extreme measures including the closing of all non-essential businesses and shelter-in-place requirements to try to slow the transmission of this dangerous disease. Amid these developments, the coronavirus epidemic is disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable members of our society. Immigrants and those who serve the immigrant community have been among the most impacted given the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) failure to close all immigration courts, the conditions in immigration detention, and the government’s recent actions to close the southern border to asylum-seekers. This webinar features national experts on responding to public health emergencies both domestically and internationally, as well as ​reflections immigration practitioners and a medical professional who will share best practices for serving individuals in a detained setting ​in the midst of a global pandemic.

Panelists include:

  • Judy Perry Martinez (Welcome Remarks), President, American Bar Association; Of Counsel, Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn 
  • Alice Farmer, Legal Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 
  • Fatma Marouf, Professor of Law and Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, Texas A&M University School of Law 
  • Aileen M. Marty, M.D., Professor of Infectious Disease, Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine 
  • Dr. Dora Schriro, Special Advisor, Commission on Immigration, and former Special Advisor to DHS Secretary Napolitano 
  • Fermin Vargas, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA Immigration Justice Project 
  • Denise Gilman (Moderator), Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration Law Clinic, University of Texas School of Law

Defend Due Process for Asylum Seekers at the Border

February 27, 2020

Watch this webinar hosted by the Immigration Justice Campaign and the ABA Commission on Immigration to learn what is happening for asylum seekers at the border, and how you can be involved.

IJP Annual Celebration and New Office Unveiling!

October 3, 2019

Join us to learn more about our work serving the immigration community as well as honoring the service of our volunteers!

San Diego Asylum Workshop: Gender and Gang Based Asylum Claims

June 12, 2019

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Legal Partners and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies – California (CGRS-California) are pleased to invite legal representatives to a workshop on gender and gang-based asylum claims. In this interactive workshop, participants will work through two real-life asylum cases based on gender-based violence and fear-of-gangs. We will discuss strategies to overcome common challenges and pitfalls faced by legal representatives representing clients in asylum claims based upon gender and fear-of-gangs, including crafting particular social groups. Participants should be familiar with substantive asylum law. Participants who wish to have gender or gang-based asylum cases they are working on considered as real-life cases to discussfor the workshop should submit an online assistance request to CGRS first to obtain a CGRS # and to provide details about their case: Priority will be given to workshopping cases from CDSS-funded organizations, but others are welcome to submit cases for consideration. 

San Diego Defensive Asylum Bootcamp Training

June 11, 2019

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Legal Partners and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies – California (CGRS-California) are pleased to invite legal representatives interested in representing asylum seekers in defensive removal proceedings to a free fullday defensive asylum training. This full-day training will cover the substantive law and practical skills necessary to represent clients fearing return to their countries of origin in defensive removal proceedings. We will provide an overview of the U.S. immigration system and discuss the legal and procedural requirements for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture claims before an immigration judge. As factual development is a critical component of litigating a fear-of-return claim, this training will discuss effective techniques for trauma-informed interviewing, declaration writing, and building a strong record. This training is suitable for attorneys new to immigration law as well as those familiar with asylum law who want to refresh their skills. 

Introduction to Representing Asylum Seekers in Immigration Court

May 18, 2019

The San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and the ABA Immigration Justice Project present this training on Representing Asylum Seekers in Immigration Court. IJP Director Adela Mason and Supervising Attorney Carolina Martin Ramos will train participants on substantive and procedural law necessary to take on an asylum case. It is free and open to non-members, and will be hosted at the San Diego County Bar Association from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at 401 West A Street, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101.

An Introduction to Representing Asylum Cases in Immigration Court

May 17, 2019

The ABA Immigration Justice Project  and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP invite you to attend this training on Representing Asylum Cases in Immigration Court. This free program is an opportunity to receive legal training to represent asylum seekers before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) or Immigration Court. It will be held at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP, One America Plaza, 600 West Broadway, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA 92101 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

CLE: Representing Asylum Seekers

March 20, 2019

This is a fundamentals training for any attorney regardless of practice area who is interested in assisting asylum seekers get access to justice.  The training is aimed at providing potential pro bono attorneys, new to immigration law, with an introduction to asylum law and how to represent asylum claims before the immigration court. The first half of the training will be devoted to the substantive components of asylum law and the second half will delve into guiding attorneys on the procedural steps involved in representing an asylum case.

This program will be available live in-person and live webcast.

IJP's 10th Anniversary Celebration

November 7, 2018

A sincere thank you to all who came out to celebrate Immigration Justice Project's 10 Year Anniversary! It was such a tremendous honor to have ACLU's Ahilan Arulanantham as our keynote speaker. A special thanks to our Advisory Board Chair, Stacie Devitt, who made this gorgeous evening possible, as well as DLA Piper US LLP, Cooley LLP, Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP, San Diego Continuing Education, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties and to our special guest, ABA President, Bob Carlson, ABA Deputy Director, Jim Dimos, the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, Federal Defenders of San Diego, California Western School of Law, University of San Diego: SOLES, and Hurwitz Holt San Diego Immigration Attorneys

Representing Immigrants with Mental Health Needs

Thursday, May 9, 2013

IJP sponsored this day-long training program that included introductory and advanced topics for attorneys representing clients with mental disabilities with cases proceeding before the Immigration Court.

Litigating Domestic Violence Asylum Claims

August 9, 2012

CGRS works to protect and advance women’s human rights through a broad agenda focused on women and girls seeking asylum from gender-based persecution. The Center’s multi-pronged advocacy strategy is aimed at promoting protection for women asylum seekers in individual cases, while advancing the law and immigration policies affecting refugee women. Ms. Frydman’s work focuses on the Center’s impact litigation, national policy advocacy, and technical assistance programs. 

Representing Immigrants in Removal Proceedings

January 24-25, 2012

This training included introductory and advanced topics for attorneys representing clients with immigration court cases.  It was submitted for 10 hours of CLE credit. It was offered free to individuals who commit to accepting a pro bono case from the Immigration Justice Project within one year of the training. 

The Effects of Violence in Mexico on U.S. Migration and Immigration Policy

November 8, 2011

This panel discussed the effects on U.S. migration and immigration policy from the legal and policy standpoint. Please click here for a video of the program or for the program materials.