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Best Practices in Representing Asylum-Seekers: A Video Resource for Pro Bono Attorneys

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Recognizing the need to improve and expand the legal representation of immigrants seeking asylum in the United States, American Law Instutute-ABA has developed a new DVD and training materials to teach lawyers best practices in representing immigrants in asylum cases.

Best Practices in Representing Asylum-Seekers, by Michele R. Pistone, Director of Clinical Programs at Villanova University School of Law, uses a real-world case study to teach the skills needed to represent asylum-seekers before the U.S. immigration courts. The DVD combines realistic video vignettes and expert commentary as it follows the asylum process from intake through the conclusion of the merits hearing, providing in-depth guidance on the legal and procedural issues, as well as on the human rights and psychosocial issues, of asylum cases.

Designed for group training or individual review, the four-hour DVD is conveniently segmented into six separately accessible tracks, allowing users to view the entire video or just the segments they need. The video also features a special introduction by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The extensive written materials that accompany this DVD are posted online in a convenient bookmarked format. They include background information for the case study, a detailed practice outline for each stage of the representation, and valuable samples, forms, and resource links.

This ALI-ABA project is intended as a public service effort to help increase access to qualified legal counsel by those who seek asylum in the United States. To encourage its greatest use, the two-DVD set, including downloadable written materials (329 pp.), is priced minimally at $99 for law firms, law schools, and bar associations (Order Code RDVD01); $49 for public interest lawyers, social service agencies, and other not-for-profit service organizations (Order Code RDVD01NP). For more information or for further financial assistance, contact Leslie A. Belasco at

To preview the video or to order online:
Go to

To order by mail, phone, or fax: Contact ALI-ABA Customer Service,
4025 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3099; call 800-CLE-NEWS
(253-6397); or, with a credit card, fax 215-243-1664.


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