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This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

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Casa Cornelia Law Center

Mentored representation for victims seeking asylum in San Diego (Remote and In-Person Options)

Without your help, these victims are forced to go it alone

Posted September 19, 2022

Background & Context

Casa Cornelia Law Center has been providing critical legal assistance to victims of civil and human rights violations since 1993. The need for services continues to grow. Research shows that representation in removal proceedings has a major impact on case outcomes. Together, we can make a meaningful impact.

Immediate Problem

Each week, our staff reviews applications from individuals and families seeking asylum. Our capacity is limited based on the size of our legal team. So, we seek to partner with volunteer attorneys to take on these cases (with lots of support) and expand our ability to serve our community.

Work & Deliverables

We are recruiting dedicated attorneys to represent victims in removal proceedings in San Diego Immigration Court. In-house attorneys will provide extensive training and mentorship to volunteers throughout the representation. We also provide language support, admin assistance, access to templates and more.

Volunteer attorneys, with assistance from their mentors, will serve as attorney of record for an individual client (or family) in removal proceedings. This requires:
- the preparation and filing of an asylum application and supporting documents (client declaration, legal brief, primary evidence and country-conditions research), and
- representation of client(s) at their hearings (including trial).

Please note: much of the representation can occur remotely, but we are also looking for volunteer attorneys who can travel to San Diego to attend hearings and, ideally, meet with the client in-person to prepare the case.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Schedule a background call with volunteer coordinator (discuss available cases)
  • Attend training
  • Complete conflicts check

Collaboration Phase

  • Introductory call with mentor
  • Get to know client and facts of client's case
  • Prepare asylum application, pre-hearing brief and documentary evidence in support of petition
  • Incorporate feedback from mentor
  • File petition and supporting documents
  • Attend scheduled hearings
  • Prepare client for merits hearing
  • Represent client at merits hearing

Wrap Up

  • Exit interview with volunteer coordinator

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 21+ hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: We offer an in-depth training on the procedural and substantive law, a dedicated mentor to review drafts, answer questions, etc and provide access to templates and country conditions research
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Required Legal Expertise: None
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Casa Cornelia Law Center

We are a public interest law firm providing quality pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations, with a primary commitment to the indigent within the immigrant community in Southern California. Casa Cornelia strives to educate others regarding the impact of immigration law and policy on society and the public good. We represent client in asylum (detained, non-detained and affirmative), children's asylum and SIJS proceedings and U Visa/T Visa/VAWA applications. In addition to a small team of dedicated in-house lawyers, we seek to broaden our reach through partnering with lawyers from the private bar to take on pro bono cases.

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