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Immigration Advocates Network Unveils New Online Resource for Pro Bono Attorneys

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

(PRLog Press Release) Pro bono attorneys interested in providing legal assistance to low-income immigrants have a new resource with the launch this week of the Immigration Advocates Network’s Pro Bono Resource Center (www.immigrationadvocates.org/probono). The launch coincides with this week’s National Pro Bono Celebration, a week-long national effort to highlight the ever-growing needs of this country's most vulnerable individuals and encourage and support local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services.

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is a free national online network that provides trainings, technical assistance and substantive resources to over 4,000 nonprofit immigration advocates across the United States. It was developed by 11 leading immigration advocacy and legal support organizations and Pro Bono Net. IAN’s Pro Bono Resource Center now extends these resources, as well as access to volunteer opportunities and social networking tools, to pro bono attorneys representing low-income immigrants.

“As a training and legal support agency, CLINIC recognizes that this invaluable tool will help build not only much needed expertise, but also create a unique and active community of immigration advocates that can interact with each other and reach out to mentors,” said Maria Odom, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). “The legal community will greatly benefit, and so will the children, detainees, asylum seekers, victims of violence and other vulnerable populations in dire need of pro bono representation.”

“By using technology to engage, train and support private attorneys, IAN is able to leverage the expertise of its partners to help level the playing field for new immigrants as they struggle to integrate themselves into communities around the country,” said Pro Bono Net Executive Director Mark O’Brien.

Pro bono attorneys will benefit from IAN’s library of more than 4,500 resources, a collection of multimedia trainings and tutorials, and the opportunity to seek expert advice on the Community Forum, where users can pose questions to be answered by attorneys from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

“This project spreads the expertise of AILA members to a much larger group of pro bono clients than they could reach otherwise,” said Crystal Williams, AILA’s Executive Director. “By providing advice and guidance on a forum that many pro bono attorneys can access and to attorneys who are not necessarily specialized in immigration, immigration law experts can spread their knowledge and help many cases at once. It's an ideal marriage of modern social networking and old-fashioned legal knowledge.”

For more information or to get involved, visit the Pro Bono Resource Center at www.immigrationadvocates.org/probono

IAN has received support from the Carnegie Corporation, Four Freedoms Fund, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

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