Professional Resources, Law Practice Assistance

The Future of Immigration Law Practice: A Comprehensive Report

10/17/16 AILA Doc. No. 16051200.

The legal profession is at a crossroads. There are a number of changes occurring that significantly impact the practice of immigration law including advancements in technology, new trends in lawyer regulation, changing consumer needs, and non-lawyer alternatives to lawyers, among others.

Appointed by President Victor Nieblas, the AILA Future of Immigration Law Practice Taskforce, together with the AILA Practice and Professionalism Center is leading the initiative to explore and report on the forces shaping the practice of immigration law.

The report contains six articles to inform AILA members about some of the most important changes that are occurring in the legal marketplace today, and how these changes are influencing the manner in which immigration lawyers practice law.

What’s Inside?

After almost a year of researching, investigating and diving head first into these questions, the Taskforce and the PPC is pleased to share its comprehensive report. The articles in this report provide foundational information and analysis on the future of immigration law practice, and is meant to provoke thought about the future of your practice and career, as well as our profession and association.

  • The Changing Immigration Consumer (pages 1-1)
  • Ethics and Innovation: Do the Rules of Professional Conduct Support or Impede Innovation in the Delivery of Legal Services (pages 2-1)
  • Existing and Emerging Technologies: Can Legal Services Be “Better?" (pages 3-1)
  • Online Legal Services: Do They Help or Harm Consumers? (pages 4-1)
  • The Present and Future State of Non-Lawyer Practitioners (pages 5-1)
  • The Practice of Immigration Law in 2025 (pages 6-1)
  • Opportunities Moving Forward (pages 7-1)

These are issues on which individual members and AILA as an organization must act as we develop our preferred future: Do we continue to practice law as we have always done or begin to offer innovative ways to deliver legal services? Do we embrace new technologies or stay with the status quo? Do we engage in the debate to reduce lawyer regulation or let others decide? Do we shun the conversation of non-lawyer providers and online legal services or participate in it proactively? Readers are encouraged to pursue additional research on matters of particular interest.