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

4.56 (9 votes)

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.

  • 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 Damast (Moderator)

Discussion Leader

Sabrina Damast is the founding attorney of Law Office of Sabrina Damast, Inc. Her practice focuses on removal defense, waivers, family-based immigration, humanitarian immigration, appeals, federal litigation, and post-conviction relief. She is the immediate past chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration & Nationality Law Section; serves on the AILA Amicus Committee and AILA Removal Defense Section Steering Committee; is the chair of the Due Process track for the 2020 AILA Virtual Annual Conference; and serves as an EOIR liaison for the AILA Southern California Chapter. Ms. Damast was honored with the 2018 Public Counsel Immigrants’ Rights Project Pro Bono Award and the 2020 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award, and she serves as a mentor attorney with VECINA. She has written several posts for AILA’s Think Immigration blog. In her free time, Ms. Damast volunteers as a Girl Scout leader, and enjoys musical theater, swing dancing, and spending time with her family.

Sheila Starkey Hahn


Sheila Starkey Hahn has practiced immigration law for more than 20 years. She has a solo practice in upstate New York, focusing on employment-based immigration and the pro bono representation of asylum applicants before Immigration Courts nationwide. She is the outgoing Chair of the AILA National Pro Bono Committee. Ms. Starkey Hahn has traveled to Artesia, New Mexico and Dilley and Karnes, Texas to provide pro bono representation to detained Central American asylum seekers. She is the recipient of the 2018 Michael Maggio Pro Bono Award.

Patricia Minikon


Patricia B. Minikon has practiced immigration law for more than 25 years and is the founder of Minikon Law, LLC, in Greenbelt, MD. Her practice areas are family immigration, removal defense, business immigration, and humanitarian relief. She has litigated cases in Federal court, the Immigration Courts, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. She served as an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at Penn State Dickinson Law School and the University of Maryland University College. She is the chair of AILA DC Chapter’s Maryland State Bar Association Liaison Committee and the AIC Writing Contest Committee. She is also a member of the Immigration Council of the Maryland State Bar Association. She is a frequent speaker on immigration law and policy before bar and community groups.

Can You ‘Do Good’ and ‘Do Well’? Tips for Pro Bono Success
07/23/2020 at 10:45 AM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
07/23/2020 at 10:45 AM (EDT)   |  60 minutes Can You Do Good and Do Well? Tips for Pro Bono Success
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