When I started practicing immigration law almost 10 years ago, I jumped in, not knowing about the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) or where to turn for help. I had no mentor and the main resource for immigration law questions online were message boards with sometimes questionable (at best) advice. I quickly found out about AILA and became a member, but there were so many different places on the website with different resources and information, I often felt overwhelmed when I had a specific question and did not know where to look.
With memories of those early challenging days still with me, I am now extremely happy to be part of AILA University. Hundreds of short how-to videos are being made available free to AILA members, video roundtables are being assembled for more in-depth learning on specific topics, and entire courses are being launched for comprehensive and practical training on larger topics of immigration law, like PERM and removal defense.
First, let me talk about the tutorial videos, literally hundreds of them, around 3-5 minutes in length each, addressing very specific topics in immigration law. This will help not only the new practitioner gain knowledge about a wide variety of issues, but it will also allow more seasoned veterans to seek information about a topic that may be a bit outside of their normal practice area. With the videos being so short, everyone will be able to get the answers they seek quickly, but also be secure knowing they’re getting the information from an expert in the field. And, they’re all completely free to AILA members!
Another great free feature of AILA University will be the Live Video Programming. As often as possible, AILA University will schedule roundtable video discussions on a wide variety of topics with practitioners so that individuals can ask specific and direct questions to those with more experience. Attorneys can also join these discussions to brainstorm and develop case strategies, drawing from the knowledge and experience of immigration attorneys around the world.
Finally, there will be complete online courses that individuals can take and complete at their own pace. Whether you are an attorney new to immigration law who wants a full course on the fundamentals, or a veteran trying to gain experience in a topic outside of your normal practice area, the online courses will be a wonderful resource to help vastly expand your knowledge. The courses allow students to go at their own pace and complete the many lessons on their own time. It is not just watching videos, though. These courses have exams and sample case work each student must complete to ensure they are not just watching, but are truly understanding and using the knowledge in a practical way. Family practitioners looking to learn removal defense can now do so with one easy-to-access resource. Corporate attorneys can train their new associates in the details of PERM. And there will be so much more!
I’m very proud to be a part of the Steering Committee for AILA University, and I’m sure that no matter your immigration law knowledge or experience, you will find AILA University useful. Take a look – right now — at what you as an AILA member can access!