I am honored to post here that I was recently elected to serve as Washington State Chapter Chair for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a professional organization for attorneys who practice immigration law. Nationally, the organization has over 11,000 members. The Washington State Chapter currently has approximately 370 members. Though called the Washington Chapter, our membership includes attorneys from Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. I have always been a member of the Association, since commencing immigration law practice, and can’t imagine practicing immigration law without the support of AILA. Greg Boos and David Andersson are two of the longest standing members of our Chapter.
Our Washington State AILA Chapter provides many services to lawyers and the community at large. The practice of immigration law requires constant education, to keep up with the changes in the law and its administration. On a monthly basis, we schedule professional education events, as well as a two day seminar once per year. The Chapter also holds pro bono Citizenship Day clinics a few times per year, with attorney volunteers working at sites all over the state. These clinics have helped hundreds naturalize over the past few years. Our Chapter holds regular liaison meetings with agencies involved in immigration matters, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
We also have committees dedicated to advancing the ethical practice of immigration law, monitoring state government activities related to immigration in Olympia, and providing attorneys with law practice management support. The Chapter is a respected voice on matters pertaining to immigration law reform, as we schedule regular meetings with congressional staffers, periodically meet with editorial boards, and annually send a delegation to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress. I can go on–we are a very active professional association.
As Chair, I will have to draw from my past experiences of volunteering on many of these committees, so that the Washington State Chapter can continue to operate as one of the best in the country. Last year, our Chapter received the highest possible recognition from the national association.
I appreciate the confidence of my colleagues in electing me Chair. I am sure it will be a challenging and rewarding year. I am also thankful to everyone here at the firm for the support in this endeavor. The success of the Washington State AILA Chapter is based on the work of dozens of giving attorneys. I’m fortunate professionally and personally to work with such a terrific group.