James H. Binger Center Hosts Annual Asylum Conference

On November 18, faculty and staff of Minnesota Law and The Advocates co-sponsored the Fall 2022 Asylum Conference.  Over 200 attorneys, paralegals and community members learned how to improve client collaboration and build a case record to withstand appeal.  Participants built skills to address systemic and implicit bias when representing trauma survivors, including critical interviewing skills and techniques to effectively work with interpreters.  Appellate lawyers discussed common errors seen in records on appeal and ways court practitioners can reserve key issues for appeal.  The conference ended with a session on collective resilience.  Presenters discussed how lawyers can cope with losses and how clients can thrive as human rights activists in the diaspora.

In 1980, the United States passed the Refugee Act. It created a legal “asylum” process for survivors of human rights violations to seek safety from persecution in the United States.  Three years later, a group of Minnesota lawyers, including the University of Minnesota Law School Professor David Weisbrott, founded The Advocates for Human Rights.  Based in Minneapolis, The Advocates engages volunteers in research, education and advocacy to implement human rights standards.  One of its first projects was to recruit volunteer attorneys to represent clients in their asylum claims.  For nearly 40 years, The Advocates has provided thousands of immigrant clients with access to U.S. human rights protections and engaged hundreds of legal professionals in the human rights representation in immigration law.  The Advocates is one of the three non-profit institutional partners of the MN Law’s Binger Center for New Americans.  

You access videos and materials from the Fall 2022 Asylum Conference and other immigration education events by going to the Binger Center for New Americans Events Page.  You can learn more about volunteering by going to The Advocates for Human Rights Volunteer Page.