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July 25, 2019

New online platform connects lawyers with immigrant children facing deportation

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2019 – A new online platform operated by the American Bar Association and developed by a Florida technology company will match volunteer lawyers with immigrant children facing deportation in several states.

The website – Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation – offers help to immigrant children, 14,000 of whom are held in federal detention on any given day.

The platform was developed by legal technology company SavvySuit and will be operated by the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA), which trains and supports lawyers representing children in immigration proceedings. The ABA’s South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) and Catholic Charities New Orleans also are participating in the pilot project, which is funded by the Vera Institute of Justice.

“Until children in deportation proceedings have the right to appointed counsel at public expense, pro bono attorneys are a key support to the legal service organizations that provide this critical representation,” ABA President Bob Carlson said.

Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation provides a way for pro bono lawyers across the nation to search for cases posted by civil legal aid providers to address legal relief for unaccompanied children who have crossed into the United States from Mexico. Attorneys can search for cases by geographic location, case type and posting organization. Cases will be provided by legal aid and pro bono programs nationwide and include mentoring support.

The website and its data engine are based on the same technology as Florida Pro Bono Matters, which SavvySuit developed for The Florida Bar Foundation to match volunteer lawyers with civil cases in that state.

Lawyers can find more information at  

Founded in 2015, CILA builds capacity for those working to advance the rights of children seeking protection through training, technical assistance and collaboration. It serves both legal service providers and pro bono attorneys who are representing children in immigration-related proceedings.

For media inquiries, contact Marc Davis at [email protected]. For lawyers seeking to volunteer, contact [email protected]


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