Training and Legal Support | CLINIC

Training and Legal Support

Mission: Training and Legal Support works to expand the availability of professional, low-cost immigration services by providing legal expertise, training and technical assistance to CLINIC’s member agencies and constituents. Attorneys from Training and Legal Support provide legal advice to more than 1,000 nonprofit, community-based immigration service providers through phone consultations, multi-day trainings, broadcast e-mails, and a variety of publications. Its success in delivering legal support to this expanding network has made CLINIC widely recognized as the most productive legal support group in the field.

Search by a particular word or phrase.
Search by a particular blog tag.


CLINIC coordinates the publication of several training manuals that are regularly updated and distributed to training participants. Several of these publications are also marketed and sold separately by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. CLINIC also publishes a monthly newsletter, circulates legal updates via a broadcast e-mail system, and posts valuable information affecting low-income immigrants on its website.


IMMIGRATION LAW & THE FAMILY: This book is a practical guide to all aspects of family-based immigration, including immediate relatives and the preference system, application process for permanent residence, consular processing, immigrating through marriage, grounds of inadmissibility, the affidavit of support, and other topics of concern to practitioners. It is published by AILA Publications.

AILA'S FOCUS ON THE CHILD STATUS PROJECT ACT: Charles Wheeler, director of CLINIC's National Legal Center for Immigrants, draws from his own experience and expertise, as well as from the collective wisdom of other practitioners, to explain the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). It encourages leaders to challenge government interpretations that are at odds with the regulation. The book is published by AILA Publications.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS: This book is a practical guide to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. It provides detailed information to assist legal advocates in analyzing the potential immigration consequences of criminal conduct. The manual covers the basic framework for evaluating the impact of crimes, and discusses in detail crime-based inadmissibility and deportability grounds, establishing good moral character, detention and removal issues, post conviction relief, and judicial review.

RELIEF FROM REMOVAL: This book is a practical guide to all aspects of relief from removal cases. This manual provides a detailed description of the law, as well as strategies for defending clients in removal proceedings. Chapters cover an overview of removal proceedings, asylum, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, NACARA, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. It is published by AILA publications.

VAWA: IMMIGRATION RELIEF FOR ABUSED IMMIGRANTS: Written by CLINIC and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center under a generous grant from the California Endowment, the manual is a comprehensive guide for legal advocates working with immigrant survivors of domestic abuse and crime. The manual consists of 15 in-depth chapters on VAWA self-petitioning, adjustment of status, inadmissibility and waivers, and consular processing; conditional permanent residence, VAWA cancellation of removal, special immigrant juvenile status, T and U visas, gender-related asylum, and public benefits. The manual also contains extensive appendices of sample applications and forms, primary source documents, and community education brochures.

To purchase the AILA published manuals, please click here.


The following handbooks and guides are available for download. They are also availabe under our Resources.

AN ADVOCATE'S MANUAL FOR SOLVING EMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS IN LOUISIANA AND MISSISSIPPI ASYLEE ELIGIBILITY FOR RESETTLEMENT ASSISTANCE: A SHORT GUIDE: The purpose of this guide is to give service providers the information needed to address the resettlement needs of asylees. The guide contains crucial and timely information about the benefits and services for which asylees are eligible, including job placement assistance, English language classes, health screening cash assistance, social security cards, adjustment of status, travel authorization, petitioning for immediate relatives and federal student financial aid.

A MORE PERFECT UNION: The report sets forth the resources, activities, and partnerships that would be required to naturalize as many eligible immigrants as possible. It calls for a national mobilization in support of citizenship, identifying the roles of government, immigrant service agencies, and other sectors of society in a coordinated plan. It describes a program that could serve as the linchpin of an emerging U.S. immigrant integration strategy.

CITIZENSHIP FOR US: A HANDBOOK ON NATURALIZATION & CITIZENSHIP 6TH EDITION: Citizenship for Us is a comprehensive guide to the naturalization process that provides detailed information on citizenship eligibility, requirements, and benefits and a step-by-step explanation of the N-400 (Application for Naturalization).  The guide includes 13 study units on U.S. history and civics, historic photos, timelines, a sample naturalization interview, and a chapter on civic participation.  It is geared for immigrants, community leaders, ESL teachers, and other non-attorneys.

Hard copies are also available for $40.

CITIZENSHIP FOR REFUGEE ELDERS: ISSUES AND OPTIONS IN TEST PREPARATION: A unique handbook for teachers and administrators on creating and managing a citizenship program for the elderly learner. Contains information on citizenship requirements, refugee cultures, and instructional materials.

IMMIGRATION PROGRAM MANAGEMENT MANUAL: This manual describes best practices used by many of the country's most experienced nonprofit immigration programs and managers. The training curriculum covers program design, case selection criteria, case management systems, fee schedules, alternative funding sources, financial controls, marketing, staff training, BIA agency recognition and staff accreditation, and legal representation ethics.

STRATEGIES FOR NATURALIZING THE MOST VULNERABLE APPLICANTS: This handbook discusses English exemptions, due consideration, reasonable accommodations, disability waivers, oath waivers, fee waivers, and expedited processing.

ASYLEE ELIGIBILITY FOR RESETTLMENT ASSISTANCE: A SHORT GUIDE: This guide gives service providers the information needed to address the resettlement needs of asylees.

LEGALIZATION MANUAL- PREPARING FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM: An Earned Pathway to Citizenship & Beyond: This manual provides a starting point for charitable immigration service providers to begin preparing for immigration legalization.



Immigration Law Training

CLINIC provides high-quality immigration training to nonprofit immigration legal service providers. Each year CLINIC helps more than 1,000 nonprofit agency staff expand their immigration law expertise. Trainings cover substantive immigration law topics, as well as courses to improve practical skills. Its more popular trainings include Introduction to Immigration Law; Family-Based Immigration; Naturalization and Citizenship; Relief for Victims of Domestic Violence; and Relief from Removal. CLINIC attorneys in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco also conduct local trainings for member agencies and speak frequently at national conferences. In addition, CLINIC conducts bi-weekly 90-minute web-based trainings on discrete immigration law topics.

Below are descriptions of CLINIC's most popular trainings.


This basic, two-day training provides an overview of immigration law and is designed for new practitioners.  The subjects covered will include family-based immigration law and procedures, grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, overview of removal proceedings, defenses to removal, naturalization, and BIA recognition and accreditation procedures.

Next Offered:

Dallas, TX – Oct 22-23rd


This two-day training offers practitioners at all levels of experience in-depth substantive law, practice tips, and hands-on practical experience in family-based immigration.  Topics will include overview of family immigration, eligibility for adjustment of status, consular processing, grounds of inadmissibility, waivers of inadmissibility, and the affidavit of support requirements.

Next Offered:

Manchester, NH – May 20-21 (Register Here)


This two-day training focuses on improving skills in client interviewing, legal research, and legal writing. Through presentations and group exercises, participants have an opportunity to develop and practice effective client interviewing techniques; learn methods for conducting legal research using immigration source books and the Internet; and practice writing clearly and persuasively.  The training covers specific types of persuasive legal writing for immigration cases, including letters, declarations, and motions


This training covers critical management areas: the elements of management to ensure program viability, strategic planning, managing financial performance and costs, setting and collecting fees, case management standards, using technology, promoting staff development, and developing resources. It features a presentation on the effective use of web-based demography tools to identify immigrant populations for services, as well as lessons learned from the last legalization. It will focus on the need to prepare now for building capacity within and outside of our network.

Next Offered:

New York, NY – May 20-21 (Register Here)

Silver Spring, MD – September 17-18 (Register Here)



This two-day training will review crime-based  inadmissibility and deportability issues, the significance of having a crime classified as an aggravated felony, crime bars to good moral character, and an overview of available immigration remedies.   Participants will also discuss practice points for representing an immigrant with a criminal record.  In addition, the training will review how people are placed in removal proceedings, the rights of aliens stopped and/or detained by ICE, and what happens after court proceedings commence.


In this three-day training, participants will go through all the stages of case preparation and court advocacy.  The training covers case analysis and formulating a theory of the case, bond hearings and master calendar hearings, evidence issues, opening and closing statements, and direct and cross-exam.  As part of the training, students will observe and critique mock hearings and participate in a mock hearing as a client advocate, witness or ICE trial attorney.


This training will cover the self-petitioning process and cancellation of removal under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), including review of the eligibility requirements, new legislative changes and guidance in gathering supporting documentation.  The training will also review other potential remedies for abused immigrants, including gender-based asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and the T and U visas for victims of trafficking and certain designated crimes.


This intensive one day training course covers the law and procedure of U nonimmigrant status for victims of certain crimes.  Participants will learn about the eligibility requirements for U status, waivers of the grounds of inadmissibility and strategies for preparing a winning application.  The training also covers applying for adjustment of status for U nonimmigrants.  This is an interactive training with both individual and group exercises.


This training is designed for practitioners who want to improve their skills at naturalization law.  It will cover the new legislative changes on derived naturalization, acquired citizenship, the effect of criminal convictions, establishing good moral character, abandonment of permanent residency, appeals of denials, and federal court actions.


 This one-day training will review immigration issues affecting refugees and asylees, including procedures for gaining status; applications for derivative beneficiaries; employment and travel issues; the “material support” ground of inadmissibility; termination of status; and adjustment of status and waivers.


This training will cover the most common grounds of inadmissibility: health, crimes, fraud, prior deportation, and unlawful presence.  It will then offer guidance on completing waiver applications and gathering the necessary supporting documentation to satisfy the statutory requirements.


These trainings are directed to staff of Catholic Charities programs with 501(c)(3) status.  They offer the following topics: basic concepts of immigration law, applicable laws and regulations, R-1 nonimmigrant visas, special immigrant visas for religious works, and practice pointers.  Contact CLINIC’s Division of Religious Immigration Services (DRIS) at 202/756-5549 for more information on religious immigration trainings.


For general information on CLINIC trainings, contact Dinah Suncín at (415) 394-0787, e-mail: