Agenda, Thursday, July 23rd

Special Sessions

Financial Planning for Solo and Small Firms 9:15 am–10:15 am ET

Financial Planning for Solo and Small Firms

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Overview

Panelists will discuss financial best practices for solo and small law firms, including determining partner/owner compensation, succession planning, and other financial planning considerations.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Managing the Day-to-Day Finances of Your Practice: Setting Budgets and Bookkeeping
  • Determining Partner/Owner Compensation and Planning for Retirement
  • Best Practices in Invoicing, Payment, and Collection Systems
  • Tax Strategies and Entity Structures
  • Trust Accounts and Managing Client Funds

Ruby L. Powers (DL), AILA Media Advocacy Committee Vice Chair, AILA Author, Build and Manage Your Successful Immigration Law Practice (Without Losing Your Mind), Houston, TX
Elizabeth Garvish, Atlanta, GA
Rosanna M. Fox, Paramus, NJ
Jill Wayland, Bethesda, MD

Can You ‘Do Good’ and ‘Do Well’? Tips for Pro Bono Success 10:45 am–11:45 am ET

Can You ‘Do Good’ and ‘Do Well’? Tips for Pro Bono Success

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Overview

Is it possible to represent low-income clients and still pay the bills and make a good living? This is a question immigration practitioners representing clients pro bono often ask themselves. Panelists will discuss strategies attorneys can employ to balance financial responsibilities with the desire to do pro bono work.
Agenda and Speakers

  • What Pro Bono Work Is Right for You? What Is the Optimal Case-Mix and Office Philosophy for Accepting Cases?
  • Is High-Volume, Low Fee, and Many Staff Members the Only Way to Go?
  • Options for Funding Litigation Other Than Charging Clients Directly
  • How to Establish the Cost for Cases and Get Paid in a Timely Manner
  • Ethical Considerations in Making Business Plans and Choosing Cases

Sabrina R. Damast (DL), AILA 2020 Annual Conference Due Process Chair, Los Angeles, CA
Sheila T. Starkey Hahn, AILA Pro Bono Committee Chair, Dunkirk, NY
Patricia B. Minikon, Greenbelt, MD

Immigration and the 2020 Elections 12:15 pm–1:15 pm ET

Immigration and the 2020 Elections

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Overview

While little immigration-related legislation has passed a divided Congress over the past year, it remains a significant, and controversial, issue politically, both for AILA members and, of course, for the American electorate at large. Panelists will address the current state-of-play concerning immigration in Congress, examine the impact the immigration issue is likely to have on the November election, and predict what this all may mean for immigration attorneys going forward.
Agenda and Speakers

  • How Current Politics are Impacting Immigration in Congress
  • The Road to November
    • Immigration as a Hot-Button Political Issue
    • Watching the Polls and Key Races
  • Immigration-Related Legislation

Anastasia Tonello (DL), AILA Past President, New York, NY
Ira J. Kurzban, AILA Author, Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook/AILA Past President, Miami, FL
Judy Chu, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
John Miyasato, President, Crossroads Campaigns Solutions, Washington, DC

What Is That Pressure in My Chest? Recognizing Burnout and Strategies for Healing 1:45 pm–2:45 pm ET

What Is That Pressure in My Chest? Recognizing Burnout and Strategies for Healing (Ethics)

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Overview

If you manage to eat healthy and exercise regularly but still feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry, and exhausted, you’re not alone! There is ample scientific neurological evidence regarding the deleterious effects of stress and depression, effects that hinder not only you, but also those around you, including your staff. In light of these findings, panelists will provide guidance on proven methods to combat the effects of burnout through methods that change brain activity—e.g., relaxation techniques, physical activity, mindfulness, meditation, engaging in creative endeavors, social activities, etc.
Agenda and Speakers

  • How Depression and Stress Take a Physical as Well as Emotional Toll
  • Recognizing the Symptoms of Burnout
  • PTSD and Secondary Trauma
  • The Science of Brain Plasticity: How to Build Better Brain Pathways and Take Care of Yourself to Fend Off Burnout
  • Protecting the Wellness of Your Staff to Protect Yourself in the Long Run

Maurice H. Goldman (DL), AILA 2020 Annual Conference Family Chair, Tucson, AZ
Rachel Hammerman, New York, NY
Mariela G. Shibley, San Diego, CA

Managing the Cybersecurity Risks to Your Practice (Ethics) 3:15 pm–4:15 pm ET

Managing the Cybersecurity Risks to Your Practice (Ethics)

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Overview

You’ve probably never thought about it, but your firm is likely at risk of a data breach and more now than ever. And as an immigration lawyer, you have a lot of private data stored about your clients—addresses and employment history, financial information, social security numbers, and other sensitive personal information. Panelists will focus on the steps you need to take to ensure your clients’ information is protected.
Agenda and Speakers

  • The Ethical Duty of Technology Competence, Understanding Today’s Cybersecurity Risks
  • Training Staff on Cybersecurity Issues
  • Security Solutions for Immigration Firms
  • What to Do When There Has Been a Data Breach: Ethical Requirements and Practical Obligations
  • Is It Time for Cyber Liability Insurance?
  • Cyber Security in the Age of COVID-19

Charity Anastasio (DL), Practice Management Advisor, AILA Practice & Professionalism Center, Washington, DC
David L. Bridges, President, The Leavitt Group of Atlanta, Inc., Lawrenceville, GA

Ethically Navigating Changing Circumstances During the Course of Representation (Ethics) 4:45 pm–5:45 pm ET

Ethically Navigating Changing Circumstances During the Course of Representation (Ethics)

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Overview

Whether we like it or not, cases and clients can present themselves differently after the consultation and the fee agreement is signed. Practitioners in these situations face challenges in navigating changes in circumstances successfully for their clients, particularly when the change in circumstance is unforeseeable. Panelists will advise on ethical ways to address disputes and conflicts when changes occur. They also will discuss processes for analyzing underlying causes and address ethical methods to prevent disputes and reduce vulnerability to conflict for attorneys.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Foreseeing Potential Changes in Circumstance
  • Handling the Surprise
  • Evaluating Fee and Billing PoliciesClient Communication Strategies: What to Tell Clients, and How Frequently
  • Knowing Your Ethical Obligations: When to Refer Out, Get Co-Counsel, or Withdraw
  • COVID-19 Complications

Cyrus D. Mehta (DL), New York, NY
Mahsa Khanbabai, AILA New England Chapter Chair, Easton, MA
Nicholas J. Mireles, Los Angeles, CA
Bonnie Stern Wasser, Seattle, WA

Diversity and Inclusion Within Your Firm: Impact on Profitability (Diversity/Elimination of Bias) 6:15 pm–7:15 pm ET

Diversity and Inclusion Within Your Firm: Impact on Profitability (Diversity/Elimination of Bias)

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Overview

While the societal benefits of achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce is clear, awareness of the business case for diversity and inclusion is also now on the rise. Companies and law firms have increasingly begun to regard diversity and inclusion as a source of competitive advantage, and specifically, as a key enabler of growth. This panel will include in-house counsel, law firm leaders, and other experts discussing the benefits of diversity and inclusion and its impact on profitability. Hear practical advice on how small and large organizations successfully incorporate diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of bias into their respective cultures and how your firm can too.
Agenda and Speakers

  • Tangible Benefits of Diversity for Your Firm
  • Obstacles Legal Professionals Encounter as They Seek to Eliminate Implicit Bias and Solutions
  • How Your Firm Can Develop Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion Practices
  • How Adopting These Initiatives Could Make Your Firm More Attractive to Corporate Clients
  • Marketing Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

Olivia Serene Lee (DL), AILA Diversity and Inclusion Committee Vice Chair, San Francisco, CA
Christine M. Hernandez, Denver, CO
Nandini Nair, Edison, NJ
Bettina Yip, San Diego, CA

Government & Liason Committee Open Forums

The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) Open Forum 9:15 am–10:15 am ET

The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Jorge Loweree (DL), Policy Director, American Immigration Council, Washington, DC
Peter Mina, Deputy Officer for Programs and Compliance, DHS
Ur Jaddou, Director of DHS Watch

U.S. Department of State (DOS) Open Forum 10:45 am–11:45 am ET

U.S. Department of State (DOS) Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Kenneth J. Harder (DL), AILA DOS Liaison Committee Chair, Houston, TX
Sandra S. Reguerin, AILA DOS Liaison Committee Vice Chair, Phoenix, AZ
David Newman, DOS Visa Office, Director of Legal Affairs, Washington, DC
Alex M. Jones, National Visa Center (NVC), DOS, Portsmouth, NH

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Open Forum 12:15 pm–1:15 pm ET

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Alexis S. Axelrad (DL), AILA Board of Governors/CBP Liaison Committee Chair, New York, NY
Ramon E. Curiel, AILA CBP Liaison Committee Vice Chair, San Antonio, TX
Frank Russo, Assistant Director of Field Operations, New York Field Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New York, NY
Luis A. Mejia, Director, Enforcement Programs Division, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington, DC
Gregory L. Eddy, Chief, Passenger Operations, New York Field Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New York, NY

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Open Forum 1:45 pm–2:45 pm ET

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Sarah K. Peterson (DL), AILA Board of Governors/DOL Liaison Committee Chair, Minneapolis, MN
Vincent W. Lau, DOL Liaison Committee Vice Chair, Cambridge, MA
Brian Pasternak, Administrator, OFLC, DOL, Washington, DC
Shawn M. Packer, Senior Counsel, Office of the Assistant Secretary, ETA, DOL, Washington, DC
Renata Adjibodou, Director, OFLC, National Prevailing Wage Center, DOL, Washington, DC
Paul Gotte, Acting Center Director, OFLC, National Prevailing Wage Center, DOL, Washington, DC
Brandt Carter, Director, OFLC, Atlanta National Processing Center, DOL, Washington, DC

Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Open Forum 3:15 pm–4:15 pm ET

Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Merlyn N. Hernandez (DL), AILA EOIR Liaison Committee Chair, Los Angeles, CA
Sarah Owings, AILA EOIR Liaison Vice Chair, Atlanta, GA
James McHenry, EOIR Director, Falls Church, VA

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Open Forum 4:45 pm–5:45 pm ET

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Sui Chung (DL), AILA ICE Liaison Committee Chair, Miami, FL
Aaron Hall, AILA ICE Liaison Committee Vice Chair, Denver, CO
Richard Rocha, Enforcement and Removal Operation (ERO), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), DHS, Washington, DC
Michael Davis, Deputy Principal Legal Advisor, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), DHS, Washington, DC

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)/CIS Ombudsman Open Forum 6:15 pm–7:15 pm ET

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)/CIS Ombudsman Open Forum

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Agenda and Speakers

Bennett Savitz (DL), AILA USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Committee Chair, Boston, MA
Suzanne B. Seltzer, AILA USCIS HQ (Benefits Policy) Committee Vice Chair, New York, NY
Susan S. Im, AILA USCIS Service Center Operations Liaison Committee Chair, Grand Rapids, MI
Kari Ann Fonte, AILA USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee Chair, Coral Gables, FL
Stacy Shore, Acting Deputy Ombudsman, Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, DHS, Washington, DC

Other Trainings & Events

Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation 8:00 AM–9:00 AM ET

Q&A: Advanced Litigation 10:45 AM–11:45 AM ET

Q&A: Discussion with AILA Authors 12:15 AM–1:15 AM ET

Demo: Docketwise Session 1:20 PM–1:35 PM ET

Q&A: Fundamentals Removal 1:45 PM–2:45 PM ET

Q&A: Forum on AILA’s Impact Litigation 3:15 PM–4:15 PM ET

AILA's Virtual Talent Show 8:00 PM–9:00 PM ET

AILA Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct

AILA is committed to providing a professional and productive learning environment for all participants and staff. As a result, all participants are expected to follow all stated meeting and event instructions and guidelines in order to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism, mutual respect, and collegiality. AILA members in particular are expected to adhere to the principles set forth in AILA’s civility code. The guidelines herein apply to all AILA virtual, webcast and online programming including but not limited to AILA conferences, seminars, online courses and roundtables.

All participants must comply with the following guidelines to participate in the virtual meeting and events:

Participants who do not comply or are in violation of any of AILA’s virtual meeting guidelines may be denied further access and participation at the discretion of event organizers. AILA is not responsible for reimbursement or refund if you are denied access or participation due to violation of AILA’s Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct.

Participants can contact conferences@aila.org with any questions or concerns related to AILA’s Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct.