Upcoming Annual Conference Special Events and Activities

2018 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law

June 13–16, 2018 | San Francisco Hilton and Parc 55 Hotels

Get Ahead with a Great Lineup of Training Opportunities and Special Events

Round out your conference experience with special events that add to your training and help you network.


AILA Online Resources

Advanced Legal Research Using AILA's Member Benefits and AILALink

Wednesday 2:30–3:30pm
Thursday 9:45–10:45am
Thursday 1:30–2:30pm
Friday 7:00–8:00am
Friday 4:00–5:00pm
Saturday 3:00–4:00pm

This advanced training, which is eligible for CLE credit, will cover how to use AILA online properties to conduct legal research and solve case problems. This training will discuss resolution of case problems through AILA.org, AILALink/Fastcase Premium, and Fastcase; how to find decisions using AILA.org and Fastcase; and how to do advanced research using the powerful tools in the InfoNet Research Library and My Research.

This session also will give an in-depth look at how to use AILALink, AILA’s subscription-based research database offering fully searchable statutes, regulations, case law, agency correspondence, and $4,000-plus worth of AILA publications, including Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook and Business Immigration: Law & Practice.


Wednesday 1:15–2:15pm
Thursday 7:00–8:00am
Friday 8:10–9:10am
Saturday 9:30–10:30am
Saturday 4:15–5:15pm

This training session will cover how to make the most of Fastcase, a comprehensive case research database included as part of your AILA member benefits.

Special Membership Events

AILA Law Student Panel Discussion and Networking Event

Wednesday 5:30–6:30pm

Join us for a discussion on the ins and outs of immigration law. Attorneys from various practice settings will offer insight into the process of transitioning from law school to professional practice. Following the panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and network with the panelists and fellow students in attendance.

Taste of San Francisco Networking Events

Join fellow New Members Division (NMD) members for dining and discussion at unique San Francisco restaurants. Get acquainted with your colleagues and learn more about immigration law and practice. Space is limited. For more information, or to sign up, please email Jessica Del Villar.

AILA Annual Membership Meeting

Thursday 5:30–6:45pm

Get updates and reports on member benefits and activities, and hear the national election results for officers and the Board of Governors.

New Members Division Reception

Friday 6:00–7:30pm

Join NMD Chair Sheila Mahadevan, along with a few hundred of your new best friends, for an evening of food, fun, and networking. This is a great opportunity to meet other new members, and to learn about ways to get involved with AILA.

AILA's Practice and Professionalism Center

5th Annual AILA Ethics Compendium: LIVE

Thursday 1:30–2:30pm

Join us for an enlightening and thought-provoking ethics discussion with the authors and editors of the AILA Ethics Compendium. Now in its fifth year, the Compendium: LIVE offers an in-depth and robust analysis of the Rules of Professional Conduct and how the rules specifically apply to immigration lawyers. The discussion will include: what every immigration lawyer must know about conflicts of interest, supervising remote and virtual staff, handling disciplinary cases, and other current issues.

Managing Stress and Avoiding Substance Abuse

Thursday 2:50–3:50pm

Are you experiencing more stress than usual? Learn more about how to deal with the stress in your practice and everyday life in Managing Stress and Avoiding Substance Abuse.

Embracing Technology in Your Immigration Practice: Work Faster and Lower Costs

Wednesday 5:00–6:00pm

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for the number of its technology companies disrupting the status quo and transforming how individuals approach their daily lives. Learn from a panel of immigration attorneys who have embraced technology in their practice, and gain useful tips on how to incorporate the latest technology effectively.

  • Getting the Most Out of Immigration Technology: Moving Beyond Email and Populating Forms
  • Collaboration Tools (Google Docs, Slack, GoToMeeting): How to Integrate Digital Tools Effectively into Your Practice
  • Communication and Social Media: How to Deliver Information Quickly and Effectively to Clients
  • Five Simple Tech Tips to Implement Now to Transform Your Practice
  • Going Paperless

Mindfulness in Practice: Assessing Diversity and Implicit Bias

Wednesday 7:00–8:00pm

The experts on this ethics panel will focus on cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity issues that are unique to this profession—e.g., diverse immigration attorneys from various backgrounds representing clients from different countries around the world. Panelists will provide attendees with insights and advice on how best to effectively collaborate with clients of different cultural backgrounds. Panelists will address ethical and practical considerations in balancing open-mindedness and sensitivity with awareness of implicit bias, and reflect on how this bias impacts client representation and case strategy.

  • Effective and Culturally-Sensitive Communication Techniques When Working with Colleagues, Clients, and Opposing Counsel
  • Stepping into the Client’s Shoes: Educating Yourself in Order to Communicate Client Cultural Norms and Values When Presenting the Case
  • Effectively Communicating with Indigent Clients
  • Increasing Self-Awareness and Demonstrating Respect to Colleagues and Clients

Have an Ethics or Practice Management Question? Talk to Reid!

AILA's resident practice management and ethics advisor, Reid Trautz, will be sharing his wealth of knowledge and insight to help guide and advise members on some of their most difficult issues. Whether you need guidance on an ethical dilemma, want to improve your firm’s marketing message, are looking to start or merge your practice, or would like to discuss any other business issue, be sure to talk to Reid. Reid will be offering free 30-minute, one-on-one, confidential consultations in San Francisco during the conference. Registrants should look for a conference email in early June announcing scheduling details.

Practice Innovation Series

Practice Innovation Part 1: Today's Practice Automation Tools
Wednesday 1:15–2:15pm
Practice Innovation Part 2: Changing Delivery Models
Wednesday 2:30–3:30pm
Practice Innovation Part 3: Overcoming Ethical Impediments to Innovation
Wednesday 3:45–4:45pm

Less Is More: Solo and Small Firm Practices That Make It Big

Wednesday 7:00–8:00pm

Solo and small firm practitioners make up the large majority of the AILA membership. Come learn from some of AILA’s most successful solo and boutique practitioners on how to compete with bigger firms and grow your practice while remaining efficient and lean.

  • Finding a Niche
  • Coexisting with the Big Firms
  • Leveraging Personal Networks
  • Managing Staffing, Space, Use of Technology, and Optimizing Profit Points

American Immigration Council

Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: The Trump’s Administration Impact on Immigration Policy

Wednesday 5:00–6:00pm

Join us as we convene a panel of advocates and policy experts to discuss what changes are happening in immigration and enforcement programs, and provide a forecast on future trends.

J-1 Exchange Trainings

Exchange Visitor Program and J-1 Visa Update: Private Sector Edition
Wednesday 7:00–8:00pm
Developing an Exchange Visitor Program (J-1) Training Plan (DS-7002)
Friday 1:30–2:30pm
Hot Topics: Your Exchange Visitor Program and J-1 Visa Questions Answered
Saturday 8:10–9:10am

After Hours at the Hawthorn

Wednesday 9:00pm

Join the party! The Council’s After Hours party is a hit each year and San Francisco will not disappoint. Kick off this year’s annual conference with live music, drinks, and the perfect atmosphere to have some fun. Register now!

Make Your Message Successful: Learn How to Activate Positive Frames on Immigration

Thursday 10:50–11:50am

Earn CLE credit and improve your public communications with expert training from Wendy Feliz, Communications Director at the American Immigration Council.

2018 American Heritage Awards

Friday 6:00 pm–10:00 pm

Join us for the Council's annual gala, where conference attendees get dressed up and are treated to an evening of camaraderie, inspiration, and entertainment. Don’t miss the event everyone’s talking about! Get tickets today.

Other Training Opportunities

Case Resolution Strategies

Wednesday 3:45–4:45pm
Thursday 2:50–3:50pm
Friday 10:50–11:50am

Learn how to resolve problem cases using liaison tools and resources, including case liaison assistance, practice pointers and alerts, and government assistance options.

Risk Management Best Practices for Immigration Lawyers

Saturday 12:20–1:20pm

Leadership Training

Wednesday 8:30am–5:00pm

Make the Case for Immigration: Advocacy and Media Training

Friday 9:30–10:30am
Friday 2:45–3:45pm
Saturday 10:50–11:50am

This training will provide a crash course on how to use the right message and tools to advocate, engage with the press, and build a successful social media presence.


Conference Kick-Off

Thursday 8:00–8:30am

President's Installation

Thursday 8:30–10:00am

Join your fellow AILA members to hear about AILA’s accomplishments during the last year, before incoming president, Anastasia Tonello, shares her vision for AILA’s future. Don’t miss this chance to get to know Anastasia and hear her plans for continuing to strengthen AILA during her tenure.

Networking and Other Special Events

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening

Wednesday 6:00–8:00pm

The conference kicks off in the Exhibitor Hall! This event is the perfect place to start networking with fellow attendees, and sets the stage for an outstanding educational experience. Check out the new offerings from AILA Agora, explore the diverse group of vendor products and services, and much more! Light refreshments provided.

AILA Annual Awards Ceremony

Thursday 7:30–9:00pm

Join us as AILA honors excellence in the areas of advocacy, human rights, litigation, teaching, pro bono, mentoring, and more. The ceremony will take place at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants!

Exhibit Hall Happy Hour

Friday 5:15–6:00pm

Join us for light refreshments and an opportunity to learn about the latest offerings from nearly 100 leading providers of products and services.

New Attendee Orientation

Wednesday 12:00–1:00pm

Is this your first AILA Annual Conference? Join us for this informative session where you’ll have an opportunity to meet new colleagues and learn on how to maximize your conference experience from AILA leaders and conference organizers.

Presidents Reception

Thursday 8:00–11:00pm

AILA's incoming president, Anastasia Tonello, and outgoing president, Annaluisa Padilla, invite you to join them for a reception. The reception will take place after the AILA Annual Awards Ceremony at AT&T Park and will run until 11:00. Batter up! AND San Francisco Giant’s Marvin Benard will be providing batting tips during the Presidents Reception! Learn more about Mr. Benard.

AILA Saturday Night Party

Saturday 7:00–11:00pm

Join us for the conference closing event, this year at the California Academy of Sciences! One last opportunity to see old friends and new, all while enjoying one of San Francisco’s best museums! Note, shuttles depart at 6:30pm.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Interest Group

Drinks in the Castro at Q-Bar

Friday 10:00pm

Meet up at Q-Bar, enjoy a drink, and socialize in a fun atmosphere. No RSVP needed.