How to Draft Effective LGBTQ Asylum Affidavits

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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This program, presented by attorney Geoff Kagan Trenchard, focuses on tangible techniques for making every sentence of your affidavits do as much work as possible for your case. The course looks at structural issues of affidavits as well, and how to make sure you are showcasing the most important information to the huge or asylum officer in your case. Finally, it discusses editing techniques that will help streamline any piece of writing, legal, or otherwise. This training uses LGBTQ asylum affidavits as an example, but the techniques are applicable to any case.  

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the purpose of an affidavit and how it serves your case

  2. Gain techniques for making each sentence in your affidavit do as much work as possible to support your case

  3. Identify how to structure your affidavits effectively

  4. Discuss editing techniques to streamline your legal writing

Credit Information

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Geoff Kagan Trenchard

Kagan Trenchard

Geoff Kagan Trenchard is an attorney, educator, and legal activist. Before transitioning to a career in the law, they taught creative writing in high needs schools, foster care centers, and jails for over 10 years. Geoff is also a poet and theater artist whose work has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry, TEDx, and at the Public Theater. Their first play, In Spite of Everything, toured internationally as part of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Their first collection of poems, Murder Stay Murder, is available on Penmanship Books.

They received their Juris Doctorate from Hofstra School of Law in 2014. They were awarded the Charles H. Revson Law Student Public Interest Fellowship, the Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship, and is a recipient of awards from both the Equal Justice Works and the Public Justice Foundation. They were also awarded a Postgraduate Fellowship to serve LGBTQ asylum seekers and help train law students in the Hofstra Asylum Clinic. They have presented to attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center, New York Immigration Coalition, Immigrant Justice Corps,  Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, The Newark Asylum office, and at law schools and legal service organizations throughout New York. 

They continue to train attorneys on working with clients who have experienced trauma and how to use literary techniques in legal writing.