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Represent a detainee in their immigration merits case (attorneys only)

SIFI is seeking volunteer attorneys to represent clients at their merits hearings before the Immigration Court and in any related appeal. 

Volunteer to represent a detainee at their trial!

SIFI is seeking volunteer attorneys to represent clients at their merits hearings before the Immigration Court and in any related appeal. Volunteer attorneys represent clients in their cases involving asylum, cancellation of removal or other defenses against deportation. This is an incredible opportunity to provide critical services while gaining valuable legal skills including legal research and writing, and oral advocacy. No prior experience in immigration law is necessary.

Volunteer attorneys must have an active law license, access to a legal research database and malpractice insurance that covers pro bono work. We ask that all pro bono attorneys taking a merits case agrees to provide any necessary interpretation services.

Volunteer Merits Attorneys:

  • Represent their client at an individual hearing before the Immigration Court in Georgia or Louisiana. 
  • Investigate their clients' case; identify and prepare witnesses, including experts; prepare written filings; prepare their client to testify; serve as their client’s attorney during all court proceedings including trial and hearings. 
  • Participate in mentoring and strategy development sessions with SPLC staff and national experts.
  • Represent their client on appeal, as necessary. 

Volunteer attorneys should be available to receive a case in the next six months, work closely on that case until it goes to a merits hearing, and travel to Georgia or Louisiana for the merits hearing, arriving a full day or two prior to the hearing to prepare their client.

Volunteer attorneys who take on an appeal are not required to travel to represent a client in-person.

The SIFI merits case placement program offers volunteer attorneys an unparalleled opportunity to transform the lives of individual clients, while enhancing their skills – no matter the attorney's area of practice.

Be sure to also review our Volunteer FAQs here!

To submit an application to represent a detainee in their immigration case, click here.