Austin Bar Association
816 Congress Avenue, Suite 700
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 473-2720
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For The Public

Advancing the administration of justice, enhancing the delivery of and access to quality legal services, and actively participating in the success of the Austin community at large.

Responding to Zero-Tolerance: Credible Fear and Immigration Bond Hearing Training from Austin Bar Association on Vimeo.

Fill out the form on the right side of the page. Click SUBMIT to get the CLE course number to self-report and to volunteer to take a pro bono case. After you submit the form, you will start receiving weekly emails with more information on how to volunteer to take a case.

Resources for Responding to Zero-Tolerance: Credible Fear and Immigration Bond Hearing Training

CLICK HERE for printout of PowerPoint presentation

CLICK HERE for cover page and table of contents
CLICK HERE for materials 1: Credible Fear Interviews and Asylum
CLICK HERE for materials 2: Bond
CLICK HERE for materials 3: Additional resources


  • AMERICAN GATEWAYS: The Austin Bar is partnering with American Gateways for this pro bono project.  The best way to get involved continues to be supporting women detained at Hutto with interview prep and representation, bond, etc.  Many of these women report being separated from their children along the border.  The faster they get out, the faster they can begin trying to reunite with their children.  If you are interested in helping with these cases, please complete American Gateways’ sign-up sheet BY CLICKING HERE. Please note that American Gateways will be at the Hutto detention center twice per week to collect names for placement with volunteers.  It will be assigning cases as quickly and efficiently as possible in the order that volunteers have completed the form.  While it cannot guarantee an immediate case placement, it will contact volunteers as quickly as possible.
    Volunteers are need for about 20 hours/week of work at the American Gateways office in Austin. Different people, or groups from firms, could volunteer from week to week.
    Tasks include:

    • Setting up pro bono cases: notifying attorneys of their clients, assigning mentors, and supplying them with information needed to get started
    • Imputing information into master tracking system and database

    Contact Rebecca Lightsey to volunteer or to learn more.

  • CASA PADRE, BROWNSVILLE, TX: July 12-13. Help needed to  interview about 1,000 children. Email if you are willing to volunteer.  The volunteer team is being led by Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. We received the following message about this volunteer need from law professor Wendi Warren Binford, who is leading an effort to reunite children separated from their parents seeking asylum with their families.

“We are being given access to the children at Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas, on July 12-13 and need massive help. Approximately 1,000 children are being held there and we have the right to interview every single one of them under Flores, but we will only have two days and 9-12 hours per day to do so. Every interview takes approximately one hour, which means that we will need approximately sixty attorneys, plus interpreters. We need some interpreters to speak indigenous Central American languages as well as Spanish and other languages around the world (last week our team was looking for a Punjabi speaker while interviewing a child at one of the Border Patrol stations). We also are seeking volunteer pediatric medical and therapeutic professionals who can volunteer to provide support onsite both days.

Almost no private citizens are allowed to meet with these children, but a limited number of attorneys can under Flores and we need more volunteer attorneys on our team in light of the current crisis. If you go to Brownsville (or one of the other sites where children are being held), you can document who and where these children are, who their parents are, and as much as the children can recall of where and when they were separated from their parents so that we can provide that information to the court and seek their prompt reunification with their families.

There is no travel funding available and all work done is on a volunteer basis. If you cannot help with the visit at Casa Padre on July 12-13, we also will probably need volunteers for visits to the ORR/Southwest Key facilities once those dates are set.

If you are willing and able to volunteer, please contact me at and I will help you with paperwork to get your background check started and the introductions you need to possibly be added to the Flores team.”  


These organizations on on the front lines working with families at the border. Contact them to learn more about how to become a volunteer or to make a donation.

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