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Enhanced Enforcement & Desperate Clients: Managing Ethical Risk in Immigration Law

(673 reviews)

Produced on March 19, 2018

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Course Information

Time 1h 8m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Immigration

Course Description

The practice of immigration remains in a state of constant flux. While changes in law and policy have a tremendous effect on legal strategies, they are of equal import to the rules of professional conduct to which we are subject. At a time of enhanced enforcement, with clients desperate for solutions, what considerations must we be aware of when providing counsel? In this program, attorney Matthew Blaisdell will address questions such as:

  • What is your role as an officer of the court?

  • What do you do when your duties do the court and to your client might conflict? What does it mean to be “zealous” in representation?

  • What are the ethical limits on zeal? To what extent can and should you counsel a person who is in the U.S. unlawfully?

  • What considerations must you balance when a potential client wants to file an application that they may not be eligible for in order to obtain a benefit?

  • What policy changes should you be aware of?

This course will provide a background understanding of the ethical issues at play in these scenarios, and will attempt to provide a framework to assist in managing your risk of discipline.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the rules and procedures regulating the practice of immigration before the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  2. Identify conflicts within the rules that attorneys must be aware of and work through while providing counsel
  3. Recognize the professional and criminal liabilities you might accumulate through the course of your representation and the criminal violations of immigration law
  4. Address frivolous asylum filings
  5. Provide a framework for managing risk

Credit Information

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Matthew Blaisdell

Matthew Blaisdell, Esq.

Matthew Blaisdell is an attorney in Brooklyn, New York, with a full concentration in immigration law. He is the former Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Consumer Protection and Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and is current Chair of AILA’s Consumer Protection Rapid Response Team. He frequently writes and presents on the topic of consumer protection and immigration fraud, and he has provided testimony to several cities considering legislation to protect immigrant consumers.

He also regularly provides trainings and lectures on topics related to attorney ethics, practice management, prosecutorial discretion and advocating before various government agencies, immigration legislation and policies, constitutional issues, immigration options for youth and unaccompanied minors, LGBTQ immigration issues, immigration consequences of criminal activity, humanitarian forms of relief, and non-immigrant visas.

He received his juris doctor, as well as an LL.M in environmental law, from Pace Law School, and is a graduate of the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute (NYCELLI).


Chelsey K.

Really good reminders. Presenter did a good job underlining how important it is to always be thinking about the balance between advocacy and candor.

Richard C.

Excellent program. Thank you very much for your insights and guidance.

Susana F.

Speaker very knowledgeable and the slides were very thorough. Good presentation, a lot of material to cover.

Laura V.

Very comprehensive

Jennifer P.

Great presentation Matthew! Thank you - Jennifer Pacheco

Sharon A.

Helpful presentation

Patricia M. D.

interesting and learned some new things

Kichul K.

Overall good

Karen T.

Good overview of problems that an immigration attorney faces in this practice

Ajay S.

Thank you

Ariela M.


Steven S.

Certainly pertinent in today's environment. Challenging to zealously advocate and be an officer of the court. Interesting

Thomas F.

well done

Annette G.

Great job paraphrasing!

Maria A.

Excellent Presentation, very informative

Ray H.


Retha M.

Good program.

Jason G.

Great slides; timely issues. Good, nuanced explanation.

MaryAnne C.


Joe P.

thank you

Cecil F.

Excellent lecturer,great outline and source materials. Mr. Blaisdell is LawLine's best Immigration Lecturer bar none.

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