Immigration Clinic and LACSN Launch Training for Pro Bono Attorneys to Represent Victims of Persecution

January 20, 2017

In cooperation with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN), the Immigration Clinic today launched an intensive training program for attorneys about how to represent immigrants fleeing from persecution. Taught by Prof. Michael Kagan, the 7.5 hour program will be offered over three sessions. To receive Continuing Legal Education credit for the course, attorneys must commit to taking on one asylum case on a pro bono basis.

There is a tremendous unmet need for legal aid for immigrants, especially those who are already in Immigration Court proceedings According to a recent study by UCLA Law Professor Ingrid Eagly, "only 37% of all immigrants, and a mere 14% of detained immigrants" have a lawyer to help them in deportation proceedings. According to the study:

immigrants with attorneys fared far better: among similarly situated removal respondents, the odds were fifteen times greater that immigrants with representation, as compared to those without, sought relief, and five-and-a-half times greater that they obtained relief from removal. In addition, we show that involvement of counsel was associated with certain gains in court efficiency: represented respondents brought fewer unmeritorious claims, were more likely to be released from custody, and, once released, were more likely to appear at their future deportation hearings. 

Thirty-seven attorneys registered for the program, and committed to take at least one case. Originally, the Clinic and LACSN hoped to attract between five and fifteen attorneys.