Earlier this month, Ava Benach received the Fenner Award for Public Service from Whitman Walker Health Legal Services. She got it for doing what she does best– winning cases! The award recognizes the unique relationship that Benach Collopy has formed with Whitman Walker Health. Whitman Walker Health is the premier health care provider serving the LGBT community in Washington DC. Since its founding in the early days of the HIV crisis, WWH has expanded its services to provide more holistic assistance to its community.
On June 30, 2016, over 300 people gathered to celebrate Immigration Judge Paul Wickham Schmidt and to wish him well in his retirement after a truly remarkable career. For nearly fifteen years, Judge Schmidt was one of the giants of our local court in Arlington, VA. Here is his official biography from the Executive Office for Immigration Review and my comments after: Judge Schmidt was appointed as an Immigration Judge in May 2003.
Over the next couple of weeks, Benach Collopy attorneys and staff will be traveling the greater DC area to offer FREE public meetings to discuss the Presidents Executive Reforms to Immigration. These forums are open to the public and provide an opportunity for people to learn the specifics of the reform programs and get the latest updates. Our summary of the executive reforms can be found here.
The Benach Collopy crew just returned from the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Boston, Massachusetts. The annual meeting is the largest gathering of immigration lawyers and provides an opportunity for lawyers to learn from each other and improve their services to their clients. This year, Benach Collopy attorneys Dree Collopy and Benach, served on the conference faculty. On Friday, Dree spoke on a panel that encouraged lawyers to think about issues in removal proceedings that go beyond the availability of relief entitled “Challenges and Strategies Beyond Relief.” On Saturday morning, served as a “Star” on the “Litigating with the Stars” panel, which challenged lawyers in the audience to think through common (and uncommon) scenarios and share their strategy.
Throughout the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s two-day conference designed to help paralegals provide more effective assistance to their supervising attorneys, faculty reviewed and discussed the paralegal’s role with regard to key legal and factual issues, as well as the preparation of application forms and supporting documentation. As members of the conference faculty, Dree Collopy and Liana Montecinos presented on asylum and removal case preparation, covering the asylum process, removal proceedings before the U.S.
The Citizenship & Immigration Service has released more information about the I-601A provisional waiver process set to begin on March 4. The I-601A provisional waiver process is meant to allow the immediate relatives of United States citizens to seek a waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence while in the United States and prior to departing the U.S. for an interview at a U.S. consulate abroad.
As Co-Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Litigation’s Immigration Litigation Committee, Dree Collopy recently collaborated with immigration attorneys from across the country to develop and conduct an immigration training at the ABA 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. In partnership with the ABA Commission on Immigration, Dree’s committee provided a pro bono training program designed to encourage attorneys to serve immigrants in need of a zealous advocate and to equip those attorneys with the skills they need to provide high quality, effective representation for people in removal proceedings.