This page contains resources aimed at helping non-profit organizations become more efficient in their management and increase the capacity of legal services provision.
Table of Contents
Malpractice Insurance || Department of Justice (DOJ) Recognition and Accreditation || Important Listservs to Join || Advocacy Software for Nonprofit Immigration Service Providers and Advocates || USCIS and BIA updates || Immigration Legal Sources Organizations that Provide Practice Materials
The Collaborative recommends all legal services providers, both those with attorneys and DOJ accredited representatives, obtain malpractice insurance.
HILSC’s Malpractice Insurance Guide offers information on why insurance is important and how to get it. The Guide includes summaries of the policies offered by the following insurers used by HILSC partners:
- National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) runs a malpractice insurance for nonprofits. You must be a member of NLADA to qualify.
- CIMA World offers malpractice insurance for legal services organizations. Their minimum premium is $500 per year for organizations that are NOT in the State Bar program. Their policy covers an organization’s pro bono volunteers. Read their full policy and apply for malpractice insurance. The State Bar offers CIMA World insurance at a discounted rate through the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Organizations must be a part of the State Bar’s Access to Justice.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Recognition and Accreditation
An organization can receive “recognition” from the Department of Justice, which gives the non-profit permission to practice immigration law through accredited representatives before either the Department of Homeland Security (i.e. USCIS) only or both DHS and the immigration courts (partial and full recognition, respectively). The DOJ issued a new rule on accreditation and recognition, which took effect in January 2017. Note: currently recognized organizations will need to re-apply every 1 to 3 years, depending on the organization’s circumstances. Learn more:
- Rule on Recognition and Accreditation: 81 Fed. Reg. 92346 (Dec. 19, 2016.
- The DOJ’s Office of Legal Access Programs released an updated Frequently Asked Questions in connection with the new rule.
- Recognition and Accreditation Toolkit (CLINIC)
- Step-By-Step Guide on Recognition and Accreditation (CLINIC and World Relief)
- The DOJ rosters list all recognized organizations and accredited representatives
Important Listservs to Join
It is important to join listservs to stay up-to-date about national immigration policies and trends. Some of the below listservs are interactive and allow for discussion, while others are non-interactive and post updates.
- The Collaborative’s listserv is a space for discussion, legal and advocacy updates, events, volunteer opportunities, and more. It is available to approved stakeholder organizations and their staff/volunteers. Sign up here
- Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) case alerts: get updates on precedent decisions
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updates: get updates on USCIS events, changes procedures and forms, and more
- Detention Watch Network listserv: a listserv where information about detention, removals, and general immigration updates are shared. This listserv allows participants to post
- Immigration Advocates Network maintains a list of several listservs from a variety of non-profit immigration organizations
- The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild maintains several listservs, including lists discussing casework, the intersection of immigration and criminal law; updates on VAWA; and mental competency issues. Some lists require NLG membership
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center hosts a variety of listservs on topics such as: DREAMers, family-based immigration, asylum, and immigration activism
- American Immigration Lawyers Association maintains several lists, including Texas-wide updates, Houston list, and a new attorneys list where members can ask more experienced practitioners questions. Membership to AILA is required and it is recommended that attorneys at HILSC organizations join for benefits such as webinars and networking. Learn how to join
- CLINIC maintains a weekly listserv with updates about webinars and news
- State-wide listserv run by the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Unaccompanied Alien Children Asylum listserv: contact ABA-CILA to join
- Our partner organizations and stakeholders do work on advocacy:
- Texas Organizing Project: TOP is at the front line of immigration reform organizing efforts in Texas, orchestrating direct actions, marches, vigils, protests and rallies to promote reform and hold accountable elected leaders who side against hardworking immigrant families
- United We Dream: United We Dream is a Dreamer led organization. UWD connects undocumented people to available resources to excel in our communities.
- Refugee Council USA: is a coalition of 24 U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, is dedicated to refugee protection, welcome, and excellence in the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
- TRUST coalition: A coalition of business, religious and advocacy organizations calling on Texas state leaders to support common sense immigration legislation.
- The materials below were provided by Bolder Advocacy
- Public Charities Can Lobby
- What is Lobbying Under the 501(h) Election?
- 501(h) Lobbying Calculator
- Lobbying Under the Insubstantial Part Test
- ACT! – Advocacy Capacity Tool
- Resources regarding foundation funding for advocacy charities
- Bolder Advocacy’s free technical assistance hotline: 866-NP-LOBBY
CLINIC’s Program Management Resources
The Collaborative has used CLINIC for its expertise in helping organizations run high-quality programs, they are a source of good information. Below are a few examples of the resources they provide:
- Managing an Immigration Program: Steps for Creating and Increasing Legal Capacity. This manual describes best practices used by many of the country’s most experienced nonprofit immigration programs and managers
- Case Management Toolkit: is intended to facilitate the process of designing and/or improving the case management system in your immigration program
- Webinars, like this one on “Top 5 Transition Issues in Program Management“
Technology for Immigration Service Providers and Advocates
- Field Guide on Software for Nonprofit Immigration Service Providers and Advocates, covering tried-and-true and emerging tools and technologies, best practices and specific aspects of nonprofit software, and how to choose and implement software.
- Software programs used by HILSC partners:
- Law Logix: Edge for Nonprofits
- eImmigration: Request a Trial
- Legal Server: Request a Demonstration
- INS Zoom: Request a Demonstration
- Innovation Law Lab: Request a Trial
- Reviews of several software options (American Immigration Lawyers Association)