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How the Project Works
Each week, the EOIR identifies a list of cases that fall into one of the four categories listed above.
The BIA Clerk's Office pulls the files of the identified cases and makes them available to volunteer screening attorneys, all of which are expert immigration practitioners recruited by the NGO partner agencies.
On Friday of each week, a volunteer screener travels to the BIA where s/he reviews the full record including the transcript of the case and creates a redacted summary of the case.
The case summaries are circulated via e-mail to Project participants on Monday or Tuesday of each week.
After reviewing the weekly e-mail, a pro bono representative interested in a specific case contacts CLINIC.
The NGO coordinator sends the immigrant a letter by overnight mail. The letter explains the Project and indicates that a pro bono attorney is interested in representing him/her. It also includes a form EOIR-27 (Notice of Entry of Appearance before the BIA), and an envelope with pre-paid postage that is pre-addressed to the pro bono representative.
If the individual wants to participate in the Project, s/he returns the signed form EOIR-27 to the pro bono representative, who then files it with the BIA.
Upon receipt of the signed form EOIR-27, the Clerk's Office sends the pro bono attorney a copy of the record of proceeding (ROP) and resets the briefing schedule. This gives the pro bono attorney 21 days to file the brief. In addition, the pro bono attorney may also obtain one 21-day extension. Therefore, the average amount of time a pro bono attorney has to review the ROP, research and write the BIA brief is 42 days (assuming the 21-day extension is requested).