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On Demand

Ethical Considerations in Applying for Humanitarian-Based Immigration Relief

1h 30m

Created on January 30, 2017



As advocates for immigrants pursuing humanitarian-based relief, we often seek to use whatever legal means are available to secure relief for our clients, whose life, freedom, and/or ability to remain in the country they grew up in may depend on securing particular benefits from USCIS or in obtaining relief from an immigration judge. However, such advocacy must be guided by the rules governing attorney conduct, including confidentiality, candor before the court, unauthorized practice of law, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, to name but a few.

The desire to secure benefits and relief for clients in desperate circumstances may cause attorneys to step into ethical grey areas. For example, some clients may be eligible to apply for a form of relief that may lead to permanent residence, but only if they find themselves before a judge in removal (deportation) proceedings. This has caused some attorneys to file applications for asylum specifically to place their clients into such proceedings. What are the ethical considerations surrounding these practices, and what is the possibility that attorneys may face discipline?

This course, led by attorney Matthew Blaisdell, examines these and related practices in the context of pursuing humanitarian-based relief, as well as issues involving the use of translators and paralegals, working with children and victims of crimes or persecution, and dual representation, with the objective of empowering attorneys to better manage their risk while advocating for their clients. 

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Provide an overview of different forms of humanitarian-based benefits and relief in immigration

  2. Identify practices that may subject attorneys to discipline, and examine the relevant rules governing these practices

  3. Review examples where attorneys have been disciplined for engaging in misconduct when pursuing humanitarian-based relief for immigrant clients

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