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Justice & Diversity Center: Legal Services Program

Attorney of the Day Program

About the AOD Program

Are you are an immigration attorney looking to take on pro bono work, gain valuable court experience, and support unrepresented families and children facing deportation? Consider joining the Attorney of the Day Program to provide counseling and same-day representation to individuals in detained-and non-detained removal proceedings before the San Francisco Immigration Court.
AODs provide an invaluable service to people unable to find or afford their own counsel. They conduct individual consultations, provide legal advice and referrals, help respondents navigate courtroom procedures, and advocate for them before the Immigration Judge. Whenever possible, JDC staff members conduct follow up with respondents and refer them to nonprofits for full-scope removal defense.
The AOD Program began nearly 30 years ago and was coordinated by The Bar Association of San Francisco until 2017, when JDC assumed management of the program.

Become an Attorney of the Day

To learn more about the Attorney of the Day Program, review the Handbooks for the Non-detained and Detained dockets.

Qualified applicants must have:

  1. At least two years* of current and active removal defense experience, AND
  2. The range of knowledge and skills required for the desired docket type, including:
    • Significant experience representing individuals at master calendar and merits hearings,
    • Significant experience conducting full-scope consultations regarding removability and relief,
    • Experience assessing immigration consequences of arrests/convictions,
    • Flexibility, tenacity, and a commitment to protecting the due process rights of pro se respondents.
  3. Ability to communicate with monolingual Spanish-speaking respondents. Whenever possible, JDC will arrange for volunteer interpretation for AODs who are not fluent in Spanish and are unable to bring their own interpreters to court.

*Note: Attorneys with at least one year of active removal defense experience may apply to participate in a training program to become qualified AODs for the detained dockets. Candidates should complete and submit the application below.

Application and Recertification

Both first-time applicants and current AODs who need to recertify* should follow these procedures:

  1. Complete and submit the AOD Application by email.

  2. Interview with the Justice & Diversity Center by phone.

  3. Attend an in-person orientation:
    • January 23, 2019 – 4-6:30 p.m.(San Francisco, CA)
    • April 2019 – date and time forthcoming (San Francisco, CA)
    • RSVP by emailing:

    *Update as of June 2018: Only AODs who have attended an in-person orientation are eligible to serve on the AOD panel at this time. If you were approved as an AOD prior to 2018, you still must complete the steps above in order to continue participating in the program. You will be able to resume AOD service after your application is approved and you have attended an orientation. Contact with any questions about your status.

Become a Volunteer Interpreter
If you are fluent in Spanish and English, we invite you to become a volunteer interpreter for the AOD Program. A volunteer shift involves spending approximately 2-3 hours at the San Francisco Immigration Court to interpret during AODs’ free consultations with unrepresented respondents.
To learn more, please contact

AOD Program Materials

Materials for Unrepresented Respondents

* Hard copies of these materials are available in the pro bono rooms at 100 Montgomery Street on the floors 4, 8, and 9.