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Diverse Voices of the Immigration Bar

An ABA Commission on Immigration Video Series

The Diverse Voices of the Immigration Bar series focuses on lawyers who identify with the communities and clients whom they serve. The goal for this project is to share a series of short videos that explore, through storytelling, diversity in immigration law; the challenges faced by diverse lawyers in this practice area; and advice about how to deal with these challenges. Through these web stories, the Commission on Immigration hopes to contribute to normalizing a culture of openly discussing burnout and secondary trauma within law school settings, nonprofits, government agencies, and law firms.

You can also find these videos on our YouTube channel along with more content from the Commission on Immigration: 

Special Advisor and former Chair of the Commission on Immigration, Karla McKanders, kicks off our Diverse Voices of the Immigration Bar series with an introduction to the topic. 

Amanda Bernardo, the Deputy Director of the Immigration Justice Project, covers her personal background, the challenges she has experienced when representing clients in immigration court, how to properly care for yourself and your co-workers.

Director of the Children's Immigration Law Academy, Dalia Castillo-Granados tells us about her personal background, her motivations for pursuing a career in immigration law, and how she manages the stressful nature of the work.

Michelle Jacobson is the Chair of the Commission on Immigration and Mary Jo Barrett is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The Center for Contextual Change. Michelle and Mary Jo cover the important topic of burnout and how to manage high immigration caseloads.

In this video, we hear from Wafa Hoballah, Member of the Commission on Immigration. Wafa covers her personal background and experiences as a minority in the immigration space.

Immigration lawyer and former ABA attorney, Eloy Gardea, talks about his experience as the son of Mexican immigrants and how that motivated him to pursue a career in immigration law. He also provides some insight into how working in immigration law impacted him and what advice he has for people aspiring to have a career in this field.

In our final video of the Diverse Voices of the Immigration Bar series, we hear from writer and former immigration attorney, Jawziya Zaman. In her video, Jawziya describes her journey as an immigration lawyer and what led her to ultimately leaving it behind. Jawziya is now a writer and editor, who has written popular pieces such as "Why I Left Immigration Law" which was published in Dissent Magazine. You can read her article here.