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AILA Celebrates the Launch of the Immigration Advocates Network Pro Bono Resource Center

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10110463 (posted Nov. 4, 2010)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 4, 2010
CONTACT:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org
Jenny Werwa
202-507-7628
jwerwa@aila.org

A New Online Resource for Pro Bono Attorneys to discuss immigration law and policy issues with other advocates

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is excited to support the new expansion of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) Pro Bono Resource Center and the IAN Community Forum. The venture will allow individual pro bono attorneys representing low-income immigrants to access the resources, information, and forums previously only available to IAN members. The Pro Bono Resource Center also houses volunteer opportunities nationwide, an extensive library of resources specifically for pro bono attorneys and other social networking tools.

The new features were launched last week in coordination with the American Bar Association's (ABA) National Celebration of Pro Bono, a week-long national effort to highlight the ever-growing needs of this country's most vulnerable individuals and encourage and support local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services.

"Attorney access to IAN's Pro Bono Resource Center is going to have a tremendously positive effect on the outcomes of immigration cases that are handled by pro bono practitioners who may be unfamiliar with immigration proceedings," said Susan Timmons who is AILA's Pro Bono Associate and staff liaison to IAN. "Before the launch, the information that was compiled and shared by IAN was only available to individual member s who are primarily nonprofit legal service provider staff attorneys. These attorneys are dedicated to immigration pro bono cases full time. IAN was a great resource for them, but it didn't do much for all of the members of the private immigration bar and other private attorneys who took on immigration cases pro bono," added Timmons.

The Pro Bono Resource Center also creates a new venue for AILA experts to share their insights and advice with less experienced practitioners. "AILA is thrilled to be able to offer the support and knowledge of expert immigration attorneys with lawyers outside of its membership," said Crystal Williams, AILA's Executive Director. "This project spreads the expertise of AILA members by providing advice and guidance on a forum that many pro bono attorneys can access, and to attorneys who are not necessarily specialized in immigration. Immigration law experts can spread their knowledge and help many cases and clients at once. It's an ideal marriage of modern social networking and old-fashioned legal knowledge."

"The goals of our partnership with IAN are to help develop much needed legal expertise in the field of immigration law and to create a unique and active community of immigration advocates. The Pro Bono Resource Center will facilitate interaction, mentoring, and ultimately effectively represent and help the children, detainees, asylum seekers, victims of violence and other vulnerable immigrant populations who are in dire need of pro bono representation," said Timmons.

For more information or to get involved, visit the Pro Bono Resource Center at www.immigrationadvocates.org/probono.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

 
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