Afghan and Ukrainian Project

Representing Afghanistan Asylum Applicants CLE

Sponsored by Upper Seven Law, the Montana Supreme Court Statewide Pro Bono Program, the International Rescue Committee, Alexander Blewett III School of Law, the American Constitution Society, Respond Crisis Translation, and Soft Landing Missoula

Note: registration details appear at the bottom of this page; please register in advance for CLE credit.

Event Information

Date: February 2, 2022

Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: Zoom

Schedule:

3:00 p.m. “Nuts & Bolts of Representing Afghanistan Asylum Applicants,” presented by Kari Hong, Appellate Attorney, The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, and Drew Cziok, former Assistant Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – 1.0 CLE credit

4:00 p.m. “A Conversation on Cultural Competency, Ethics, and Trauma-Informed Lawyering” featuring Bashir Ghazialam and Dr. Chinmoy Gulrajani moderated by Rylee Sommers-Flanagan – 1.0 Ethics CLE credit

5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Credit: 2.0 CLE credit (including 1.0 ethics credit)

The International Refugee Committee is working to assist more than 75 Afghani nationals relocating to Montana. Most of these individuals assisted the U.S. government, helped U.S. troops, or were otherwise engaged in democratic activities that the current Afghan government opposes. The U.S. government has identified these individuals, transported them to the United States, and given them temporary legal status to live and work in this country. Each is eligible to apply for asylum.

This CLE will provide essential training for lawyers willing to provide pro bono representation to an Afghan national seeking asylum. The CLE will:

  • Explain the elements of asylum law and provide an update on current statutes, cases, and regulations that are applicable to this status

  • Evaluate the practical steps in preparing an asylum application, which include interviewing clients, working with translators, filling out specific forms, and preparing the application to conform with the legal elements of asylum

  • Assist lawyers in how to prepare their clients for their asylum interviews, how to respond to the potential outcomes, and how to provide qualifying family members with derivative asylee status.

One hour of CLE credit will also focus on cultural competency issues related to working with asylum seekers who have experienced past trauma, including legal ethical considerations. This portion of the CLE will focus on the practical issues of how to identify trauma in a client, how to interview clients who have endured trauma, and how to navigate cultural norms when preparing an asylum application.

Attorneys working with the Montana Afghan Project may work alongside Afghan translators from Respond Crisis Translation. As most of our Afghan languages team members are themselves based in Afghanistan, it is crucial to pay them for their work. Drought, conflict, COVID-19 and a collapsing economy have left more than half the people in Afghanistan facing a record level of acute hunger. It is essential that we continue to provide life-saving financial support to Afghan translators doing urgent work to support asylum seekers. If you are able to contribute to this project supporting Afghans in the U.S. and in Afghanistan--even if you are unable to attend the training, please feel free to make a donation with note “Love from Montana” to any of the following platforms:

respondcrisistranslation.org/en/donate / Venmo: @respondcrisis / Cashapp: $respondcrisis

Register to attend here: