The following is a message sent from AAJ President Kathleen Nastri to the AAJ membership on June 20, 2018.
Dear AAJ Members,
I am overwhelmed but not surprised by the number of calls and emails we have received from AAJ members who want to know how to help the children and families separated by the Trump administration’s current immigration policies. Your unwavering compassion and eagerness to act make me proud to be a member of this organization and the trial lawyer community.
AAJ has reached out to several organizations, including state trial lawyer associations, to assess how members can help, with both the immediate crisis at the border and the long-term needs of immigrants and refugees. The Immigration Justice Campaign is a joint initiative of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council to increase access to legal counsel for thousands of immigrants held in detention centers. It provides resources and training to lawyers, like us, who want to help. Members who would like to volunteer are encouraged to click here to sign up with the Justice Campaign to access the resources and volunteer opportunities available.
There are three main ways trial lawyers can help:
- In person – Volunteers can sign up to provide legal services in person at detention centers across the country. After you sign up as a volunteer, you can access a list of in person opportunities, including the Dilley Pro Bono Project.
- Remote – Volunteers who are unable to travel can provide remote services including representing immigrants at bond hearings, providing telephonic translation services, conducting country condition research for asylum seekers, and more. (Non-lawyers may also help in many of the remote roles.)
- Donate – Members can make donations to support the Justice Campaign’s legal services and training programs.
If you decide to volunteer with the Justice Campaign, you will need your bar number and please list AAJ as your institutional affiliation.
AAJ will continue to look for additional opportunities and resources to share with you about this important issue. Please visit the Trial Lawyers Care (TLC) website and follow TLC on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Kathleen L. Nastri
American Association for Justice