Upcoming Annual Conference Special Events and Activities

2017 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law

June 21-24, 2017 | New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans

Stay on Top with a Great Lineup of Training Opportunities and Special Events

Round out your conference experience with special events that add to your learning and help you network.


Ask the Expert - AILA Author Q&A

Thursday 12:15 pm-1:15 pm
Family Immigration
Friday 10:30 am-11:00 am
Business Immigration
Friday 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
Friday 2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Have experts with years of experience provide answers to your specific questions during AILA's Ask the Expert sessions. Make plans to participate in these sessions during the lunch and networking breaks on Thursday and Friday.

AILA Annual Membership Meeting

Thursday 5:30 pm–6:45 pm

Get updates and reports on member benefits and activities and hear the national election results for officers and the Board of Governors.

New Members Division Reception (NMD)

Friday 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Join the NMD Chair and a few hundred of your new best friends at Bourbon Vieux (501 Bourbon Street, 2nd floor) for an evening of food, fun, and networking. We will have access to a Bourbon Street balcony, where you can experience the French Quarter in style! This is a great opportunity to meet other new members and to learn about ways to get involved with AILA.

AILA Online Resources

See AILALink in Action!

Wednesday 2:05 pm–3:05 pm
Friday 4:15 pm–5:15 pm
Saturday 7:00 am–8:00 am

Developed and maintained by AILA, AILALink is an online research database that combines the primary and secondary source material necessary for the successful practice of immigration law. AILALink offers fully searchable statutes, regulations, case law, agency correspondence, over $4,000 worth of AILA publications (including Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook), and more. To learn how this product can assist you, see AILALink in action during one of the scheduled CLE-eligible trainings, or stop by the AILA Agora booth to learn more.

Advanced Legal Research Using AILA’s Online Properties

Wednesday 3:20 pm–4:20 pm
Friday 7:00 am–8:00 am

For members already familiar with AILA.org, attend this advanced training, which is eligible for CLE credit, on how to use AILA online properties to conduct legal research and to solve case problems. This training will cover: how to solve case problems using AILA member benefits, how to find decisions using AILA products (AILA.org, Fastcase, and AILALink), and how to do advanced research using the powerful tools in the InfoNet Research Library and My Research.

Have You Heard About Fastcase?

Wednesday 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Thursday 9:45 am-10:45 am
Saturday 12:20 pm-1:20 pm
Saturday 3:00 pm-4:00 pm

All AILA members have free access to Fastcase, a database that includes federal court decisions plus BIA precedent decisions since volume 8 (1958). Fastcase offers powerful searching and sorting tools and a service called Authority Check that helps you determine whether that case you just found is still good law. Attend a session to learn how Fastcase can help you conduct your research effectively.

Special Membership Events

Making the Most of Your Member Benefits

Thursday 1:35 pm–2:35 pm

Network with fellow new members and learn about all that AILA membership has to offer. This informal session will give you the tools and resources you need to get the most out of your membership and improve your practice. Learn how to effectively utilize AILA.org, considered AILA’s #1 benefit by our members. The site boasts many new features and improvements, including powerful new tools to help you find, annotate, and file what you need from the InfoNet Research Library. This session is designed for members unfamiliar with the wide variety of resources and benefits available via AILA’s website.

AILA Law Student Panel Discussion and Networking

Wednesday 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

Join us for a discussion on the ins and outs of immigration law. Attorneys from various practice settings will offer insight into the process of transitioning from law school to professional practice. Following the panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and network with the panelists and fellow students in attendance.

AILA’s Practice and Professionalism Center

AILA’s Practice and Professionalism Center (PPC) is dedicated to the shared ideals of our profession, including service to clients, ethical conduct, increased competence, respect for the legal system, and pursuit of the public good. The center supports you throughout the year and with these Annual Conference events.

AILA Ethics Compendium Live

Saturday 10:50 am–11:50 am

Join us for an enlightening and thought-provoking early morning ethics discussion. Now in its fourth year, the AILA Ethics Compendium Live offers an in-depth and robust analysis of the rules of professional responsibility and how the rules apply to immigration lawyers. This session will cover rules, including the unauthorized practice of law, responsibilities regarding non-lawyers, fees, and safekeeping of property.

Have an Ethics or Practice Management Question? Talk to Reid!

AILA’s resident practice management and ethics advisor, Reid Trautz, will be sharing his wealth of knowledge and insight to help guide and advise members on some of their most difficult issues. Whether you need guidance on an ethical dilemma, want to improve your firm’s marketing message, are looking to start or merge your practice, or would like to discuss any other business issue, be sure to talk to Reid. Reid will be offering free 30-minute, one-on-one, confidential consultations in New Orleans during the conference. Please check back for available dates and times. To schedule an appointment, contact ppc@aila.org.

Top 10 Takeaways from the AILA Marketplace Study

Thursday 4:15 pm–5:15 pm

In 2016, AILA released the results of its second Marketplace Study, a comprehensive report on the economics of immigration law practice today. This discussion will cover the key takeaways from this landmark study, as well as provide insightful information for solos and small firms.

  • A Gender Gap in Income—Possible Causes and Solutions
  • Demographic Sweet Spot—What Is the Most Profitable Type of Firm?
  • Which Marketing Efforts Really Work
  • Key Performance Indicators for Your Practice

Mindful Lawyering: Techniques to Help You Be Your Best Self Every Day

Friday 8:10 am–9:10 am

Meditation and mindfulness practices are experiencing a bit of a renaissance in the United States today. Millions of people are discovering the physical, psychological, and yes-even professional(!)-benefits of taking a few minutes every day to meditate, or sit quietly. It's hard to imagine that taking a small amount of time to sit quietly and breathe deeply can actually enhance our health and productivity., but study after study show this to be so. This discussion and experiential session will introduce participants to simple mindfulness techniques that can be easily incorporated into your daily life and law practice.

  • What is the stress response and why is it important to understand?
  • Mindful Breathing
  • What is a body scan and how can it help me in times of stress?
  • Mindful Listening
  • Mindful Chair Yoga
  • Mindfulness Meditation - experiencing iRest©

The American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council, AILA’s non-profit partner, hosts several special events during the conference. For more information about these events, check out the information below, contact Claudia Ornelas at cornelas@immcouncil.org or (202) 507-7525 and visit the American Immigration Council Booth at the conference.

The New Landscape of Immigration Enforcement

Wednesday 6:25 pm–7:25 pm

Join the American Immigration Council as we unpack recent and developing changes to interior immigration enforcement policies and tactics with a panel of advocates and policy experts.

After Hours on Frenchmen Street

Wednesday 9:30 pm - 12:00 am

Join the Council staff as we kick off AILA's Annual Conference at After Hours on Frenchmen Street. Frenchmen Street is the best location to experience authentic New Orleans nightlife and After Hours will feature one of Frenchmen Street's most popular bands (and open bar). Tickets are only $40 and space is limited. So come alone and meet new friends, or bring your crew, but buy your tickets here today!

Make Your Message Successful: Learn How to Activate the Public's Positive Frames on Immigration

Friday 10:50 am -11:50 am

Earn CLE credit and improve your public communications with expert training from Wendy Feliz, Communications Director at the American Immigration Council.

Immigration Council's American Heritage Awards

Friday 6:00 pm–10:00 pm

The American Immigration Council, AILA’s non-profit partner, hosts several special events and sessions during the Annual Conference including the American Heritage Awards, their annual gala celebrating the talents, contributions, and accomplishments of notable immigrants and their advocates. Tickets include dinner, drinks and entertainment and can be purchased here and will also be available for purchase at the Council kiosk on the 2nd floor of the Marriott Hotel. For more information about all of the Council’s events contact Claudia Ornelas at cornelas@immcouncil.org.

J-1 Training Sessions

One Big Easy Overview: The Exchange Visitor Program J-1 Visas
Thursday 10:45 am-11:45 am Expert J-1 visa sponsors offer a high-level overview of the guiding principles and regulatory framework that shape sponsorship decision-making and program management.
Jazzing Up the J-1 Trainee/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002)
Friday 3:00 pm–4:00 pm The best way to simplify the path to J-1 visa sponsorship and guide a successful exchange is to submit a strong Training/Internship Placement Plan (form DS-7002). Seasoned intern and trainee sponsors detail key aspects of the required form and how to use it throughout the duration of the exchange program.
Exchange Visitor Program (J-1) Intern & Trainee Host Placement Training
Saturday 8:10 am-9:10 am Engaging private sector firms as hosts for international visitors is a key responsibility shared by program sponsors and legal representatives. The Council offers a train-the-trainer style session on re-framing your clients and firms from employers to host organizations engaged in exchange programming.


Other Training Opportunities

Make the Case for Immigration: Advocacy and Media Training

Friday 9:30 am–10:30 am
1:40 pm–2:40 pm
Saturday 9:30 am–10:30 am
1:40 pm–2:40 pm

This training will provide an update on the current state-of-play of immigration policy, as well as a crash course on how to advocate, engage with the press, and build a successful social media presence.

Case Resolution Strategies

Wednesday 4:25 pm-5:25 pm
Thursday 2:55 pm-3:55 pm
Friday 12:20 pm-1:20 pm

Learn how to resolve problem cases using liaison tools and resources, including case liaison assistance, practice pointers and alerts, and government assistance options.

Risk Management Best Practices for Immigration Lawyers

Thursday 12:15 pm–1:15 pm

Lawyers have up to a 20% chance of being sued for malpractice. Even if the suit is frivolous, and even if you carry malpractice insurance, defending yourself against such allegations can be disruptive to your practice and law office. Learn how to avoid such lawsuits and how to effectively defend malpractice allegations if they do occur. This session will also address the impact of using the Internet, email, and other forms of communication and document storage techniques that expose lawyers and law firms to cyber liability.

  • The Major Reasons Law Firms Are Sued: Best Practices for Prevention and Mitigation of Damage
  • Cyber Liability: How to Protect Your Firm from Attacks
  • Other Areas of Risk that Expose Your Firm to Serious Financial Harm
  • Understanding Lawyers Professional Liability and How Your Firm Can Procure Coverage


Conference Kick-Off

Thursday 8:00 am–8:30 am

President’s Installation

Thursday 8:30 am–9:45 am

Join your fellow AILA members to hear about AILA’s accomplishments during the last year, before incoming president, Annaluisa Padilla, shares her vision for AILA’s future. Don’t miss this chance to get to know Annaluisa and hear her plans for continuing to strengthen AILA during her tenure.

Networking and Other Special Events

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening

Wednesday 6:00 pm–8:55 pm

The conference kicks off in the Exhibitor Hall! This event is the perfect place to start networking with fellow attendees, and sets the stage for an outstanding educational experience. Check out the new offerings from AILA Agora, explore the diverse group of vendor products and services, and much more! Light refreshments provided.

New Attendee Orientation

Wednesday 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Is this your first AILA Annual Conference? Join us for this informative session where you’ll have an opportunity to meet new colleagues and learn on how to maximize your conference experience from AILA leaders and conference organizers.

Presidents Reception

Thursday 6:45 pm–9:00 pm

AILA's incoming president, Annaluisa Padilla, and outgoing president, William Stock, invite you to join them for a reception. Starting in the Marriott Lobby, a traditional New Orleans Second Line Parade will lead you a few blocks away to the House of Blues. The Second Line Parade starts at 6:45 pm, and the House of Blues reception is from 7:15 pm-9:00 pm.


Thursday 7:00 am–8:00 am
Friday 7:00 am–8:00 am
Saturday 7:00 am–8:00 am

Join AILA staffer and nationally-certified yoga instructor, Danielle Polen, for a relaxing and invigorating yoga practice. All are welcome and no prior experience is necessary. Questions? Contact Danielle at dpolen@aila.org.

AILA Host Chapter: French Quarter Bar Crawl

Thursday 8:00 pm–Late

Join in a night of fun with members of the AILA MidSouth Chapter for a French Quarter Bar Crawl, as they guide you to New Orleans establishments such as The Carousel Bar and Pat O'Brien's. Get recommendations on New Orleans favorites and house specialty drinks. Location: Marriott Lobby

Exhibitor Marketplace Happy Hour

Friday 5:15 pm–6:00 pm

Join us for light refreshments and an opportunity to learn about the latest offerings from nearly 100 leading providers of products and services.

AILA Annual Awards

Saturday 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Join us as AILA honors excellence in the areas of advocacy, human rights, litigation, teaching, pro bono, mentoring, and more.

Saturday Night Mardi Gras Party

Saturday 8:00 pm–11:00 pm

Join us for the conference closing event, and an inside look into the real Mardi Gras during the Saturday Night Mardi Gras Party. Location: Mardi Gras World. Food, friends, fun, dancing, and so much more.