Model Hearing Program

The Model Hearing Program (MHP) is an educational program coordinated by OLAP, to improve the quality of advocacy before the immigration courts, as well as to increase levels of pro bono representation. The program, implemented in 2001, provides hands-on immigration court training and is designed for attorneys, BIA Accredited Representatives, law students or law school graduates with little or no experience in immigration removal proceedings, who are interested in representing indigent immigrants on a pro bono basis in the immigration court.

While MHPs vary depending on the sponsoring organization and local court practices and staff, they all share a basic MHP structure. First, substantive training in a specific area of immigration law is provided by the non-profit organization sponsoring the MHP. This is followed by a model hearing presided over by an immigration judge from the local immigration court. The in-court model hearing focuses on practice, procedure and advocacy skills. Participants commit to a minimal level of pro bono representation throughout the year, and may receive training materials and CLE credit.

OLAP facilitates coordination of the MHP between the sponsoring organization and the court and provides technical assistance where needed.

If you would like to sponsor a Model Hearing Program or have any questions regarding the program, please contact EOIR’s Office of Legal Access Programs at:

The Model Hearing Program Training Manual provides detailed information on the content and structure of this program, as well as samples of past training sessions:

For more information on OLAP’s programs and initiatives, please send an email to:

Return to Office of Legal Access Programs Home Page

Updated November 16, 2016

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