Defending Vulnerable Populations Trial Skills Trainings Go Virtual
In 2019, CLINIC launched the Defending Vulnerable Populations, or DVP, Program as an independent section within the organization. One of DVP’s goals is to increase capacity for representatives and attorneys to provide high quality representation in an increasingly adversarial immigration system. As the Department of Homeland Security places more immigrants into removal proceedings and continues to strip its attorneys of prosecutorial discretion — while the Executive Office for Immigration Review deprives immigration judges of the traditional tools to control their own dockets — more and more advocates are conducting trials in immigration court.
DVP has offered high quality trial skills trainings since its inception. In September 2016, CLINIC forged a unique partnership with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, or NITA. This collaboration allows advocates to learn about core trial skills from faculty, pairing skilled litigators with immigration specialists. In the past, CLINIC and NITA have conducted these trainings at the NITA headquarters in Boulder, CO, as well as other locations around the country such as Chicago, Baltimore, Minneapolis and Miami.
With the current concerns about travel and sharing office space, DVP has adjusted and moved our trial skills classes online. CLINIC and NITA just finished the first all-virtual trial skills training for the Immigrant Justice Corps, providing three days of programming on direct examination, cross examination, refreshing recollection, redirect and closing arguments. The small group sessions operated through an online platform. At the end of the three-day virtual training, we began receiving very positive feedback, including: “This has been very special — to be learning from the leaders at the cutting edge of immigration law practice. Thank you all faculty for sharing your wisdom!”
In addition to live skills trainings, CLINIC is also helping immigration court practitioners sharpen their skills with immigration court practice advisories, including:
Be sure to watch our website for future trial skills opportunities.