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Lawyer Discipline

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 10012271 (posted Oct. 15, 2013)"

For over 60 years, AILA has remained committed to excellence in immigration law practice by providing continuing education, guidance, and mentoring to our members. Our commitment to enhance the professionalism of our members is a prominent component of our mission.

Enhancing Professionalism

AILA provides hundreds of hours of education each year for members on a national and chapter basis to make sure our members build their competency and expertise in immigration law and practice. We also provide a wide array of resources and tools to increase the level of knowledge and professionalism, and foster the professional responsibility of our members.

Membership Qualifications

Attorneys who wish to become members of AILA must qualify under the organization's membership guidelines. These qualifications include being a member in good standing of their state bar, and for three years preceding the application not having been suspended or disbarred by any court, mandatory bar association, administrative agency or other disciplinary authority.

Ethical and Criminal Complaints

We take it seriously if an AILA member commits an ethical violation or is charged with a crime, such as immigration fraud.

As a voluntary bar association, AILA does not have a role in disciplining lawyers. That is the province of state bar licensing authorities and the disciplinary counsel for the two major immigration agencies, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Criminal charges, if any, are handled by state or federal prosecutors.

Please note that membership in AILA is not mandatory. There are thousands of licensed lawyers who may handle immigration cases who choose not to belong to AILA and therefore do not receive the education, guidance, and mentoring of our members.

However, when a member of AILA is convicted of a crime or suspended or disbarred from the practice of law, we take immediate action to suspend or expel that member from our organization in accordance with our bylaws.

Members in Good Standing

All AILA staff members are authorized to confirm whether a lawyer who practices US immigration law is a member in good-standing of our association. You may call AILA at 202-507-7600 to confirm whether your lawyer is an AILA member.

Filing a Complaint against an Immigration Lawyer

If you believe your immigration lawyer has failed to properly represent you, then you may file a complaint with the state bar where your lawyer is licensed. You may also file with the disciplinary counsel for EOIR or DHS depending on where your immigration matter was pending:

Department of Homeland Security:

Catherine M. O’Connell
Disciplinary Counsel
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
111 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Mail Stop 2121
Washington, D.C. 20529-2121
Telephone: (202) 272-1873
E-mail: DisciplinaryCounsel@uscis.dhs.gov

Executive Office for Immigration Review:

Jennifer Barnes
Disciplinary Counsel
Executive Office for Immigration Review
U.S. Department of Justice
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600
Falls Church, VA 22041
Direct dial: (703) 305-1020
E-mail: EOIR.Attorney.Discipline@usdoj.gov

Names of Suspended or Disbarred Lawyers

To find out if an immigration lawyer is suspended or disbarred from practice you may contact several sources to find that information:

Your state's bar disciplinary authority

Executive Office for Immigration Review