The List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers or the “List” (formerly known as the “List of Free Legal Services Providers”) is provided to individuals in immigration proceedings. The List contains information on non-profit organizations and attorneys who have committed to providing at least 50 hours per year of pro bono legal services before the immigration court location where they appear on the List. The List also contains information on pro bono referral services that refer individuals in immigration court proceedings to pro bono counsel.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), Office of the Director, Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP) administers the List. The List is published quarterly (January, April, July, and October). The List is central to EOIR’s efforts to improve the amount and quality of representation before its adjudicators, and it is an essential tool to inform individuals in proceedings before EOIR of available pro bono legal services. The rules for qualifying organizations, pro bono referral services, and attorneys to be placed on the List can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, 8 C.F.R. § 1003.61 et seq. (80 Fed. Reg. 59503).
CHANGES TO THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING LIST OF FREE LEGAL SERVICES
On October 1, 2015 the Department amended the regulations governing the former List of Free Legal Services Providers at 8 C.F.R. § 1003.61 et seq. The amendments renamed the List as the “List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers” and significantly revised the requirements for providers to be placed on the List. Amendments to the rule include: requiring organizations and attorneys to provide at least 50 hours a year of pro bono legal services at each immigration court where they appear on the list, permitting public comment on pending qualified applicants to be placed on the List; and, imposing a recertification of providers every 3 years from the date of approval on the List. For a copy of the final rule in the Federal Register, click here.
- Providers placed on the List of Free Legal Services Providers prior to November 30, 2015, the effective date of the amended rule, must reapply to be placed on the List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers. Failure to reapply within the required time period will result in the removal of the provider’s name from the List. Click here for further information.
- Attorneys must reapply within 6 months of the effective date or by May 30, 2016.
- Organizations and referral services must reapply within a year of the effective date or by November 30, 2016.
MEANING OF “PRO BONO LEGAL SERVICES"
Pro Bono legal services are “those uncompensated legal services performed for indigent aliens or the public good without any expectation of either direct or indirect remuneration, including referral fees (other than filing fees or photocopying and mailing expenses).” 8 C.F.R. § 1003.61(a)(2). The List is not to be used by organizations or attorneys for the purpose of solicitation for paid legal services.
If you are a non-profit organization, pro bono referral service, or attorney in private practice and wish to be included on the List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers, please refer to the eligibility requirements and application processes set forth at 8 C.F.R. § 1003.61 et seq. (80 Fed. Reg. 59503). Applicants may apply using the voluntary Form EOIR-56. Please carefully read the instructions before completing the form. Applications should be submitted to:
Pro Bono List Administrator
Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP)
Executive Office for Immigration Review
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1900.10
Falls Church, Virginia 22041
For additional inquiries, please contact the Pro Bono List Administrator by phone at: 703-756-8020 or by email at: ProBono.List.Admin@usdoj.gov.
TO UPDATE INFORMATION:
For current providers, to request changes or updates to your current information or listing, please send an email to: ProBono.List.Admin@usdoj.gov.
The email must include an explanation of the requested change(s) and your contact information. The List is updated quarterly (January, April, July and October), and all update requests should be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the end of the quarter in which you are requesting an update. Providers with a pending application or currently on the List must notify OLAP, in writing, within 10 business days, if the provider’s contact information has changed, if any specific limitations on providing pro bono legal services have changed, or if the provider is no longer eligible to appear on the List. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.66. Failure to notify OLAP may result in the name of the provider being removed from the List. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.65.
TO COMMENT ON PENDING APPLICANTS:
The names of all pending qualified applicants to be placed on the List will be available for public comment prior to publication of the List in January, April, July and October.
As required by regulation, EOIR maintains the List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers and roster of Recognized Organizations and Accredited Representatives. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.61 and § 1292.2. The information posted on the List and on the roster is provided to EOIR by the Pro Bono Legal Service Providers and the Recognized Organizations. EOIR does not endorse any of these organizations, referral services, or attorneys. In addition, EOIR does not participate in, nor is it responsible for, the representation decisions or performance of these organizations, referral services, or attorneys.
8 U.S.C. § 1158(d)(4)(B) and § 1229(b)(2)
Federal Register (amended 8 C.F.R § 1003.61 et seq .)
Immigration Courts Listing
Overview of the List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers
For additional information if you are in immigration proceedings, click here.
Please read our Privacy and Security Notice