Friday, January 28, 2011

Immigration Rights | Community Involvement

I am happy to say that I believe that many immigration lawyers around Western Washington help each other. Many of us feel like we are part of a community. This is wonderful news, because no individual succeeds completely alone. Success demands a team or community.

I strive to be an excellent immigration lawyer. One way to develop one’s abilities is to play an active role in the community.

The major immigration lawyer association is AILA. I am a member of AILA, and I serve on the Executive Committee as the New Member Division Chair. We discuss issues important to immigrants and immigration lawyers. We provide workshops to educate lawyers, support groups that promote equal access to law and social justice, and provide other services.

I also work on the ground. I have been on several Citizenship Day events, which provide legal services for immigrants who wish to become American citizens. I have participated in legal clinics to advise members of the community. I have also organized educational workshops for newer attorneys in immigration law.

One major issue important to me is the access to justice question. I also provided direct representation on a pro bono basis for people with no means to pay. I won all four cases: two removal defense and two asylum cases. These clients would otherwise not have access to a lawyer, and very likely would have lost without a lawyer.

I want a lawyer for real people, one who reaches out into the community. I believe an excellent lawyer meets people, follows news and events, and understands the greater social and political issues that affect the community.

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