Let’s Give a Hand to AILA Members Doing Amazing Pro Bono Work!

AILA’s Practice and Professionalism Center works with AILA members all year round to help them engage in various pro bono activities and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank those members and all of you who do pro bono with a blog post focused on our most recent Pro Bono High Five videos. Watch and hear from these amazing pro bono advocates about their pro bono work.

First, let’s hear from Michael Wilk in Upstate New York about how they got their start in pro bono work as a paralegal, winning asylum for a survivor of the Burundian genocide, and the joy of helping immigrants along the path to naturalization.

Next, Leta Sanchez in Washington shares their work with clients fleeing gender-based violence and how being a part of a client’s immigration journey is a rewarding experience that reminds them why they first entered immigration law.

Finally, Judah Lakin in northern California discusses their federal litigation pro bono work on detention conditions during COVID, which resulted in hundreds of immigrants released from two different ICE facilities.

We hope you are as inspired as we are by the time and energy given by our members and the way volunteering changes the lives of those they help, and those who stepped up and offered their expertise.

If you are looking to increase your pro bono work, there are several  projects currently seeking volunteer attorneys, including Human Rights First’s Project Afghan Legal Assistance (PALA), AILA’s Military Assistance Program, the Immigration Justice Campaign, and the ABA’s Free Legal Answers Project. We encourage you to check them out! And you can always find more information and new opportunities on AILA’s pro bono page.

by Reid Trautz and Erin Lynum