Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13062743 (posted Jun. 27, 2013)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 27, 2013
San Francisco, CA - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will recognize AILA's Rome District Chapter with the 2013 Sam Williamson Mentor Award in acknowledgment of its efforts to help its members, and all AILA members, develop successful, thriving consular processing practices. The award will be presented today during AILA's Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.
The Rome District Chapter (RDC) was established in 2007 to serve AILA members who live and work in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, or who have sizeable consular processing practices involving those parts of the world. From its inception, the RDC has pursued as its primary goals the development and sharing of its members' consular processing expertise, the improvement of working relationships between counsel and consular officers and managers at key U.S. embassies and consulates in the region, and the education of young attorneys and those newly engaged in immigration law on the intricacies of a successful consular processing practice, whether U.S. based or abroad. One of the most effective ways the chapter helps strengthen member knowledge and expertise is with the invaluable practice advisories frequently prepared and shared with the membership at large.
Over half of the almost 300 members of the RDC are U.S. based. Because the membership is widely scattered, the chapter makes a virtue of necessity and utilizes a variety of tools to ensure members stay connected and get value from their membership. The Chapter's active Listserve provides a forum for the sharing of advice, tips, and information about embassy operations and consular policy. Chapter committees conduct brown bag teleconferences on topics such as the challenges of practicing abroad, and the quarterly newsletter, "When in Rome," highlights the chapter's activities and addresses subjects of concern to members.
The Chapter's two annual conferences are particularly important to its far-flung members. The Fall conference is always held in London and incorporates a tour of the consular section and meeting with consular officers. The Spring conference is held in a different location each year-past venues include Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt, Paris, Bucharest, and Warsaw-and gives attendees the opportunity to tour consular sections and meet consular personnel in some of the busiest posts in Europe. The RDC offers through its conferences a unique opportunity for attendees to share information with one another and benefit from the participation of officials from State, DBP, and CIS, as well as AILA leadership.
The RDC is the embodiment of the best spirit of freely sharing, networking, and assisting fellow AILA members. This year's chapter officers exemplify this spirit: Stephen R. Pattison, Chair,
Nita Nicole Upadhye, Vice Chair, Sal Savatteri Jr., Secretary, and Magdale Linda Labbe Henke, Treasurer.
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.