Dear Friend of PAIR,

I continue to think about how multiple studies have shown that asylum seekers are 4 times more likely to win asylum if they have an attorney.

Of course, this is only made possible by pro bono attorneys like you who critically help asylum-seeking clients break down systemic barriers here in the United States.

Some of you have reached out to let me know that it'd be helpful to hear more about what it's like to be a PAIR pro bono attorney—including taking on a defensive asylum case and practicing in Immigration Court.

So, our team is putting on a training to do just that. In particular, we'll begin to break down and demystify the defensive process together. And with every single case, pro bono attorneys are directly matched with a PAIR mentoring attorney—ensuring that you have direct support every step of the way.

To also give you a sense of what being a PAIR pro bono attorney is like, this month's update features one of our amazing pro bono partners. Our pro bono community is made up of incredible people and advocates such as Ali, and we'd love to have you join us.

As always, please hit "reply" if you'd like to chat further, and I'll respond as soon as I can!

In solidarity,
Pro Bono Involvement Coordinator at PAIR
Available Pro Bono Cases

To read the longer case abstract for each the cases below, please click here.

If you are an attorney and are interested in taking on one of the below cases, please email me at

  • Asylum (Defensive): NEGV (Guatemala) is a 36 year old woman who fled her home country due to death threats from gang members who killed her father.

  • Asylum (Defensive): LRC (Ecuador) is a 28 year old woman who fled her home country due to physical attacks and death threats made against her by her partner's uncle due to her sexual orientation.

  • Unaccompanied Child/Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (Defensive): LGG (El Salvador) is a 19 year old young woman who fled to the United States because of her fear of the MS-13 gang and because there was no one to care for her in El Salvador.

  • Asylum (Defensive): JRC (Haiti) is a 31 year old man who fears returning to his home country because he is gay.

  • Asylum (Defensive): VG (Guatemala) is a 29 year old lesbian woman who fled her home country after suffering severe attacks from men on multiple occasions.

  • Asylum (Defensive): MOG (Cuba) is a 31 year old woman who came to the United States after fleeing political persecution in Cuba.

  • Asylum (Defensive): KS (Belarus) is a 30 year old man who fled his home country due to political persecution.

  • Asylum (Affirmative): IE (Nigeria) is a 31 year old man who fears returning to his home country because he is gay.
Pro Bono Spotlight: Alison Holdway
What has working on PAIR cases meant to you?  
The work I’m doing with PAIR is some of the most fulfilling and challenging work I do. The legal and policy issues are thorny, and the landscape is always changing. The clients have diverse needs beyond simple legal representation, and partnering with PAIR has given me access to training and resources that I use to better my representation of the client. I am honored to represent clients as they navigate the immigration system and build lives in the United States. I could not represent my client to the fullest extent without PAIR’s support.  
What impact do you think representation through PAIR has had on your clients’ lives?   

Representation through PAIR has, candidly, changed my client’s life in uncountable and untold positive ways. Not only does he have legal representation to guide him through the complicated immigration system, but he also works closely with PAIR staff who help him schedule and attend medical appointments for necessary and ongoing treatment following a shooting that he survived in Honduras. PAIR has also helped the client find housing in Massachusetts and, consequently, connections to the community. PAIR and I have been working with the client for 2 years, and I have seen him grow, mature, and become more confident over that time. He now has a path to lawful permanent resident status in the United States, and we’re looking forward to his bright future. 
Upcoming PAIR Trainings
Introduction to Reading Common Immigration Documents
Wednesday, July 13, 2022 from 12:00 - 1:00pm EST
Hosted by PAIR Senior Asylum Attorney,
Elizabeth Badger

This training will review common immigration records that your client might bring to you throughout the course of a case, including: Notices to Appear, Receipt Notices, Immigration & Customs Enforcement documents, and Employment Authorization Documents. Please click here to register.

Practicing before the Asylum Office
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 from 12:00 - 1:00pm EST
Hosted by PAIR Asylum Attorney,
Marianne Staniunas

In the "affirmative" posture, after filing a client's asylum application and supplemental documents, a pro bono attorney will represent the client at their interview before an Asylum Officer. This training will cover the basics in practicing before the Asylum Office, recent operational changes, and offer some best practices. This training is for both new and seasoned practitioners, with time for questions and further discussion. Please click here to register.

Practicing in Immigration Court
Wednesday, July 27, 2022 from 12:00 - 1:00pm EST
Hosted by PAIR Detention Attorney,
Irene Freidel

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)—otherwise known as Immigration Court—adjudicates asylum applications in what is called the "defensive" posture. A pro bono attorney will represent the client during an Individual Hearing (also known as a Merits Hearing), adjudicated by an Immigration Judge. This training will cover the basics in practicing before the Immigration Court, and offer best practices. Please click here to register.