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Justice & Diversity Center: Legal Services Program

Attorney of the Day (AOD) Program for Unaccompanied Minors and Adults with Children


On the Docket: Families and Unaccompanied Children

The “surge” or “expedited” dockets were  a special calendar in immigration court designed to speed the removal proceedings of recently arrived families (often referred to as “adults with children,” AWC) and unaccompanied children (UC). The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) and San Francisco Immigration Court began fast-tracking these cases in the summer of 2014 in response to unprecedented numbers of entries to the U.S. by Central American children and families fleeing gang violence and instability in their home countries. The expedited timeline of these deportation proceedings made it especially challenging for children and families on the surge dockets to find and afford attorneys to represent them in their cases.

On January 31st, 2017, the EOIR issued a memorandum announcing changes to its processing priorities, notably the cases of unaccompanied minors and families would no longer be a  priority.  It announced that it would no longer be scheduling new cases on special expedited dockets, and instead would schedule new UC and AWC cases onto the “regular” adult non-detained dockets or juvenile dockets.

However, many children and families were scheduled for a hearing before the January 31 memo and their cases currently remain scheduled together on former surge dockets. Given the challenges that these children and families continue to face in finding representation, the need for AOD assistance at these dockets continues.

Thus, JDC still needs volunteer AODs to assist unrepresented respondents.  **However, at this time, JDC is no longer accepting new supplemental AOD applications (referred to as Class 3 applications on the AOD application) for these dockets. **

Learn about the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC), which provides full-scope representation to former surge docket respondents.


AOD Duties and Responsibilities

  • Attend master calendar hearings for the former surge dockets

  • Provide general overview of court proceedings

  • Conduct one-on-one legal screenings with unrepresented respondents

  • Recommend agencies respondents should contact to try to find full-scope representation

  • Help respondents complete and submit change of address forms

  • Assist respondents before the Immigration Judge, ask for continuances, etc.

  • Record data on intake forms and submit to JDC


Get Involved

For attorneys: To review the requirements and apply to the AOD Panel, complete the application and submit it to Carole Conn, LRIS Director of Public Service Programs, at

**At this time, JDC is no longer accepting new supplemental AOD applications (referred to as Class 3 applications on the AOD application) for the former surge dockets.**

For non-attorneys: There are also opportunities for legal workers, paralegals, law students, and Spanish- and Mam-speaking interpreters to assist AODs in providing Know Your Rights presentations, assisting with intakes, and serving as interpreters. To get involved, contact Carlos Pinzon-Hamilton at

AOD Materials


AOD Practice Advisories

Training Resources