Attorney of the Day Program

Certified AODs Needed for Remote Consultations

If you are a certified AOD and have time to offer pro bono consultations to respondents in removal proceedings before the San Francisco Immigration Court, click here to sign up.  Upon registering, you will receive an e-mail with materials, as well as a video link to a recorded webinar with instructions on how to conduct remote consultations for the AOD Program.

Free Phone Consultations
for our Immigrant Community


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 (AOD) 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.


Recent Attorney of the Day Trainings

Attorney of the Day on the Detained Dockets: Updates and Tips During the Pandemic, 7/30/2020

Presenters: Valerie Zukin, Special Projects Attorney for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Katie Kavanagh, Interim Legal Director and Lead Rapid Response Attorney for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice.

The webinar recording focuses on changes to the detained dockets during the pandemic (including logistics and IJs), issue-spotting for detained consultations (in particular for individuals with aggravated felony convictions), avenues for release during the pandemic (including local updates regarding Zepeda Rivas v. Jennings, Fraihat v. ICE, Casas-Castrillon v. Dep’t of Homeland Security, and Aleman Gonzalez v. Barr), and the most critical legal resources for detained AODs to have on hand.

Certified AODs may request access to the webinar, PPT slides, and materials by emailing aod@sfbar.org.


The Third Country Transit Bar: Litigation Update and Strategies for Advocates, 7/22/2020

Presenters:  Annie Daher and Sayoni Maitra, Staff Attorneys for Center for Gender and Refugee Studies

The Third Country Transit Bar (Transit Bar) is a regulatory bar to asylum for individuals who transit a third country before reaching the southern U.S. border without having applied for and received a denial of protection in at least one transit country. Two different courts have recently found the Transit Bar invalid, but litigation remains ongoing. This webinar recording provides an overview of the Transit Bar, address the status of litigation challenges, and highlight potential strategies for representing asylum seekers who have been or may be subject to the bar. 

Attorneys may fill out a form (click button to the right) to request the webinar recording.


Effectively Screening for Human Trafficking, 6/30/2020

Presenter:  Aradhana Tiwari, Staff Attorney for the Anti-Trafficking Project at Dolores Street Community Services

This training focuses on (1) Clarifying myths about human trafficking; (2) Identifying labor exploitation and labor trafficking; (3) Learning the broad range of legal remedies available to survivors of trafficking; and (4) Understanding the more subtle ways in which traffickers force, defraud, and coerce survivors into forced labor situations. 

Attorneys may request a copy of the presentation slides for this training by emailing aod@sfbar.org.


Drafting Asylum Declarations in the COVID-19 Era, 6/29/2020

This training focuses on drafting declarations for asylum applicants while working remotely. The training provides a review of the essential elements of any asylum declaration, as well as practice tips relating to fact-gathering, working with children, and effective communication with clients.

Attorneys may request a copy of the presentation slides for this training by emailing aod@sfbar.org


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:

  • At least two years of current and active removal defense experience. 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

Application and Recertification

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

  • Complete and submit the AOD application by email
  • Interview with the Justice & Diversity Center by phone
  • Attend an in-person orientation. Email AOD@sfbar.org for more information

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@sfbar.org.