Sexual Orientation Asylum: 2015 Update

(693 Ratings)

Produced on: November 19, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Asylum applications based on sexual orientation have risen in the United States and Canada in past decades. Here, attorney Mark Silver addresses the challenges of litigating an asylum petition based on sexual orientation and offers his insight as a clinical expert who evaluates claims of persecution and harm. With a specific focus on psychiatric issues, he also discusses how to balance the experiences of the applicant in his or her country of origin with the experiences as a new immigrant. By virtue of its sensitive nature, the sexual orientation asylum petition comes with challenges and obstacles that require particular attention by both the lawyer and clinician during the application process.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand psychological, social, and community challenges faced by asylum petitioners

II.    Comprehend the adversity facing these clients

III.   Recognize potential psychiatric issues that may result from such persecution

IV.   Identify proper evidence of persecution to support a petition for sexual orientation asylum


Mark Silver

Psychiatric Social Worker

MARK SOLOMON SILVER is a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He has a Combined Specialist Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario.  He has also completed a Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto, a post-graduate Certificate Program in Family Therapy at Smith College, and a Doctor of Psychology at the Southern California University for Professional Studies. In addition, Mark holds a Juris Doctor from the City University of New York, Queens College, and is admitted to practice law in the states of New York and New Jersey and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. 

Additionally, Mark has published more than a dozen papers on forensic social work and mental health practice in criminal and immigration consultation for attorneys in various academic and practice journals, and has lectured on various aspects of these subjects. Mark is the author of Handbook of Mitigation in Criminal and Immigration Forensics: Humanizing the Client Towards a Better Legal Outcome. Revised Fifth Edition. (2015). 


For the past ten years, Mark has worked as a consultant for law firms throughout the United States conducting psychosocial evaluations and writing formal reports in forensic and mitigation immigration and criminal cases. To date, Mark has worked on more than 1000 such cases in forensic immigration and criminal practice and consultation. He has worked with clients from about forty countries throughout the world on various individual, family, and mental health issues related to criminal conduct and deportation. He has also provided expert testimony in several dozen of these cases.


Jalissa H.

Excellently & nuanced description of some issues or challenges with this classification of client.

Kathryn S.


Rita D.

I've listened to a few of Mark's presentations and he does an excellent job.

Brian H.

Best one yet. Informed and passionate speaker.

Jennie K.

Great program!

Pamela S.

Superior. Exceeded expectations.

Chris S.

very good information about this subject.

Steven V.

One of the more interesting lectures out of about 20 I have heard on Lawline.

michael c.

A very good seminar

William C.

This was very instructive! I practiced mental health law for ten years.

melvin f.

Very timely.

Janine B.

I have to commend LawLine for making continuing legal education much more interesting than it used to be.

James L.

This is a topic to update each year. A good program and presentaton.


great lecturer the psychology degree is obvious

John N.

An area of immigration law that I was previously unaware of.

John A.

Best seminar thus far. Knowledgeable, clear, good PowerPoint and materials. Will look for other courses taught by this instructor.

Vivian B.

Presented well.

Rachel T.

Interesting topic valuable for GALs as well

Elizabeth Z.

Very interesting - thank you!

Holly R.

good lecturer and clearly knowledgeable on the topic. Thanks!

Jeffrey D.


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