Client Representation - Asylum Matters

MANDATE: In accordance with policies and procedures established by the Board of Regents, to encourage and facilitate, through the National Access to Justice Committee and State and Province Access to Justice Committees, the provision of pro bono legal services by individual College Fellows to persons who are unable to afford counsel competent to represent such persons effectively in litigation of the complexity and difficulty presented. 

Respect for the Rule of Law. Access to Justice. Fair and Just Representation of all Parties to Legal Proceedings.

More than mere words in a mission statement, these are foundational commitments of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Concerned Fellows have been reaching out individually to various immigrant advocacy groups and programs in an effort to determine how the trial skills and other resources of the ACTL Fellows might best be employed to assure that these children and their families have access to skilled advocates to assure their access to justice and fair and just representation.

We anticipate that many Fellows may wish to help with this effort either by contribution of time or talent. Many have undoubtedly done so already. For others who may be so inclined, we believe there is value in the ACTL acting as a “clearing house” of sorts to maintain names and contact information of those Fellows who may be in a position to actively represent clients. For those wishing to volunteer their legal services, we will in turn connect those individuals to the appropriate advocacy groups with “boots on the ground” in the affected areas.

Most importantly, we have already learned from various advocacy groups that the most pressing need at this time is for Spanish speaking lawyers to volunteer, since the overwhelming majority of the clients to be served only speak Spanish. However, all volunteers are welcomed whether you speak Spanish or not.

If you wish to volunteer to represent a client in connection with an asylum matter, please send your name and preferred contact information to either Mark Surprenant, Chair of our Access to Justice Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Program, or 1-800-725-1990, or Peter Akmajian, Chair of our Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee, or 1-520-790-5600.           

The needs are great as are the skills and commitment of members of this organization.

Sincerely yours,

Sam Franklin
American College of Trial Lawyers