Special Sessions

June 19–22, 2019 | Orlando, FL | Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center


Thursday, June 20
Conference Kick-Off | 8:00 am-8:30 am
President's Installation | 8:30 am-10:00 am
Hot Topics Strategy Session with AILA National Officers | 10:00 - 11:00 am
Keynote: The Honorable Julián Castro, Former Secretary, U.S. Housing and Urban Development | 11:00 am-11:50 am

The Honorable Julian Castro

Julián Castro served as the 16th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017. Before serving in the Cabinet, Secretary Castro was the Mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas - the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city at the time. In 2012, he gave a rousing keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, during which he described the American Dream as a relay to be passed from generation to generation. In October 2018, Little, Brown published Castro's memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream.

Unique Opportunities

Daily During Lunch
AILA Experts Bar-Get expert help to win your cases! The Experts Bar will be located in the Exhibit Hall, where attendees can ask questions and engage with AILA speakers. Speakers will be divided into tables by practice area.

New Attendee Orientation
Wednesday, June 19
9:45 am-10:45 am
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.

Fearless Lawyer Lounge
presented by the Immigration Justice Campaign
Thursday, June 20

Come to the Second Annual Fearless Lawyer Lounge, presented by the Immigration Justice Campaign, for lively interactive panel sessions with expert practitioners who will answer questions and share tactics, strategies, and practical guidance on honing the skills you need to fight for your clients in removal proceedings.

Removal Skills Sessions
Each session will be moderated by an Immigration Justice Campaign staff member.

8:30 am-9:50 am
Ask the Former Immigration Judge

10:00 am-11:00 am
Ask the Asylum Expert: How to Present Your Asylum Case in Court

11:10 am-12:10 pm
Ask the Immigration Practitioner: Tips for Starting Out in Removal Defense

12:20 pm-1:20 pm
Surprises in Immigration Court: How to Handle the Unexpected

Specialized Credit Sessions

The Ethics of Dealing with Government Surveillance and Client Confidentiality (Ethics)
3:45 pm-4:45 pm

Ever-Changing USCIS Policies: New Ethical Considerations in Family Immigration (Ethics)
5:00 pm-6:00 pm

Identifying and Ethically Handling Fraud in Marriage Cases (Ethics)
7:00 pm-8:00 pm

Due Diligence and Ethical Considerations in Client Intake (Ethics)
9:25 am-10:25 am

Improving Your Client and Staff Relationships Through Diversity Training (Diversity CLE)
1:35 pm-2:35 pm

Risky Business: Ethics and Risk Management in the Current Climate (Ethics)
2:50 pm-3:50 pm

Ethical Issues in Removal Cases: Pinocchio and His Advisors? (Ethics)
4:05 pm-5:05 pm

Mergers and Acquisitions Due Diligence: How to Avoid Nasty Surprises (Ethics)
10:40 am-11:40 am

Everyone Makes Mistakes: How to Ethically Mitigate Your Liability (Ethics)
1:35 pm-2:35 pm

AILA Classroom and Inspires Theater

AILA Online Resources

AILALink Training

Wednesday: 3:45 pm-4:45 pm
Friday: 7:00 am-8:00 am
This training session, which is eligible for CLE credit, will be an in-depth look at how to use AILALink, AILA's subscription-based immigration law research database. AILALink offers fully searchable statutes, regulations, case law, agency correspondence, and $4,000-plus worth of AILA publications, including Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook.

Fastcase: Research Member Benefit for AILA Members

Thursday: 4:05 pm-5:05 pm
Friday: 8:10 am-9:10 am
Saturday: 7:00 am-8:00 am
Saturday: 2:50 pm-3:50 pm

This training session, which is eligible for CLE credit, will cover how to make the most of Fastcase, a comprehensive case research database included as part of your AILA member benefits.

Advanced Legal Research Using AILA Member Benefits and AILALink

Wednesday: 2:30 pm-3:30 pm
Thursday: 10:50 am-11:50 am
Saturday: 12:25 pm-1:25 pm
This advanced training, which is eligible for CLE credit, will cover how to use AILA online properties to conduct legal research and solve case problems. Trainers will discuss resolution of case problems through AILA.org, Fastcase, and AILALink/Fastcase Premium, and how to do advanced research using the powerful tools on these platforms.


Getting the Most Out of Your AILA Membership

Thursday: 12:25 pm-1:25 pm
Friday: 1:35 pm-2:35 pm
Network with fellow members and learn all that AILA has to offer. This informal session will give you the information you need to get the most out of your member benefits. Whether you're a new member or you need a refresher, make sure you aren't overlooking the benefits and resources that can keep you informed, save you time and money, and enhance your practice.

AILA's Pracitce & Professionalism Center

Wellness Sessions*

Unstick Yourself

Wednesday: 2:30 pm-3:30 pm
Wednesday: 5:00 pm-6:00 pm
Feeling like your practice is running from one emergency to another? Does the daily grind continue 24x7? Are you wondering where the exit to the gerbil wheel is? It's at this session. Come hear how to unstick your practice, get over the hump, get out of your own way to find that elusive success and happiness in your immigration practice.

The Productivity Formula

Thursday: 2:50 pm-3:50 pm
Join Reid Trautz and Ritu Goswamy for a conversation on how to stay centered and effective in a time when immigration law and practice is chaotic and constantly in flux. From technological tricks and tips, to fortifying yourself mentally in order to work smarter (not harder), to ideas to be the best lawyer you can be, this wellness session promises to be an amazing journey!

Competency and Capacity: Staying on the Ball for Your Clients and You

Friday: 1:35 pm-2:35 pm
We must be competent in our practice, which can encompass knowing the law, communicating with clients effectively, and keeping up with the fast pace of an immigration practice. Capacity to practice law is hampered by illness, addiction, anxiety, depression, and a changing and challenging market. Lawyers suffer from these at much higher rates than the general population. This conversation will address realistic challenges faced by immigration lawyers, and offer a path to overcoming them.

*Specialized CLE credit may be available in some jurisdictions. See the AC App or webCLE for details by jurisdiction.

Practice Management Sessions

Fee v. Hourly - Head to Head

Thursday: 7:00 am-8:00 am
Cases take longer now, but many practitioners are still working with a fee set to another administration's way of doing business. What is more, many hourly and flat fees are haphazardly decided. Clients like flat fees and lawyers hate tracking time. But what is the right fee structure for the job? Learn how to determine if your fee choices are cutting into your bottom line and the steps to correcting it.

All You Wanted to Know About Malpractice Insurance, But Were Too Afraid to Ask

Friday: 10:40 am-11:40 am
Malpractice insurance is a necessity in today's complex immigration practices, but many lawyers don't read their policy or understand what all those complex clauses mean until something happens. Further, answering policy application questions is a crucial business decision, but few know how their answers and coinciding practice decisions affect their coverage and risk prevention efforts. Attend this session to have all your questions about malpractice insurance answered!

Removal Case Organization and Management: Case Workflows from Open to Close

Friday: 12:25 pm-1:25 pm
Attend this session to learn how to organize a removal defense file from open to close. This is an ultra-practical session on the nuts and bolts of organizing the file both electronically and physically. We will discuss and give concrete examples of how to keep organized and stay on top of deadlines.

How to Start and Build an Immigration Law Practice

Friday: 4:05 pm-5:05 pm
Immigration law is hot! People are fired up and going to law school and switching to or adding practice areas because they want to be part of this fired up profession. However, many attorneys do not have formal business training before they venture into law practice management - in what is already a complex area of law. Law school doesn't teach you how to create immigration practice workflows, choose firm technology, manage staff, or market your budding law practice, and working for another firm doesn't teach you how to balance the books or manage risk. Any help an attorney can have in starting, building, and managing a law practice is especially needed to sustain growth and viability.

Nonprofit Practice Management

Saturday: 9:25 am-10:25 am
Legal aid organizations are also law practices, with some of the same practice management concerns as for-profit firms, but different nuances for what is predominant and how to address them. This session will work through issues usually seen in the nonprofit sector and how to address them.

Ethics and Other Practice and Professionalism Topics

Practical and Ethical Considerations in Detention Cases

Thursday: 1:35 pm-2:35 pm
Detained clients and removal defense cases come with unique ethical concerns and dilemmas. Speakers in this session will discuss ethics issues in a detention context, and will identify practical resolutions or work arounds. The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct will be used to analyze common ethical dilemmas.

Military Service Related Immigration Issues

Saturday: 8:10 am-9:10 am
Panelists will cover immigration issues related to military service, including qualifications for enlistment, military naturalization, parole in place and other benefits for military family members, asylum, and an update on the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program. The panelists also will explain the current status of the numerous military-related immigration lawsuits around the United States.

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

AILA Experts Bar
Thursday through Saturday
8:00 am-11:00 am and 3:00 pm-5:30 pm
Details on how to sign-up coming soon!

AILA's resident practice management and ethics advisors, Reid Trautz and Charity Anastasio, will be sharing their wealth of knowledge and answer member questions about their most difficult issues. Whether you need guidance on an ethical dilemma, want to improve your firm's efficiency, are looking to start or merge your practice, are trying to determine if it is time to hire, or want to discuss any other business issue, be sure to schedule a consult. Reid and Charity will be offering free 30-minute, one-on-one consultations at the conference. Details on times and how to sign-up coming soon!

American Immigration Council

When and How to Contest Removability

Wednesday: 3:45 pm-4:45 pm

Communicating Inclusion

Wednesday: 5:00 pm-6:00 pm

Meet the Council's communications experts and learn how to communicate about contentious issues, as well as how to conduct your own community research that can help drive a new deep story of immigrant inclusion at the community level.

J-1 Exchange: Trainings and Trainees

Let us help you manage and grow your J-1 visa and Exchange Visitor Program case portfolio. Earn CLE credit at our J-1 visa sponsorship trainings for companies, firms, and non-profits. Then meet with our in-house experts to learn how our trainee program can support you and your clients.

  • Exchange Visitor Program and J-1 Visa: Private Sector Categories 2019 Update
    • Thursday: 9:45 am-10:45 am
  • Ask the Experts: Exchange Visitor Program and J-1 Visa
    • Thursday: 4:05 pm-5:05 pm
  • Writing a Successful J-1 Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002)
    • Friday: 10:40 am-11:40 am

Effective Direct Exams in Immigration Court

Saturday: 8:10 am-9:10 am

Other Training Opportunities

Case Resolution Strategies

Thursday: 2:50 pm-3:50 pm
Saturday: 10:40 am-11:40 am
Learn how to resolve problem cases using liaison tools and resources, including case liaison assistance, practice pointers and alerts, and government assistance options.

Make the Case for Immigration: Advocacy, Media, and Social Media Training

Wednesday: 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Friday: 2:50 pm-3:50 pm
This training will provide a crash course on how to use the right message and tools to champion your clients, engage with Congress and the press, and build a successful social media presence.

Tracking Trump Immigration Actions and Planning for a New Administration

Thursday: 1:35 pm-2:35 pm
Lucas Guttentag, Professor of the Practice of Law, Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA; Distinguished Senior Scholar, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT

AILA Needs You - Becoming an AILA Leader

Friday: 2:50 pm-3:50 pm

AILA Inspires Series