Feedback from the Early Career Immigration Lawyers Town Hall and Networking Social

  • May 08, 2024
  • Aqsa Nadeem, Newsletter Editor, OBA Citizenship & Immigration Law Section

We are thrilled to share the resounding success of our recent event, "Insights from the Early Career Immigration Lawyers Town Hall and Networking Social," held on March 20, 2024.Members of the Citizenship and Immigration Law Section Executive pose for a group photo at the Town Hall event

The turnout was phenomenal, with a strong presence from our young lawyers, fostering meaningful engagement and connections within the Immigration Bar community. A highlight of the evening was the dynamic "Ask Me Anything" panel, which provided invaluable insights and sparked enlightening discussions for all attendees.

Adding depth to the event were our focused group sessions, held immediately after the panel discussion.

The three sessions delved into critical areas of concern and interest for our members:

  • CPD Programming: This focus group discussed desired CPD programs for the coming year, identified knowledge gaps, and suggested skills to be addressed.
  • Advocacy: This focus group provided input on advocacy measures to improve the immigration system, addressing issues encountered in their practice.
  • Support Services: This focus group explored preferences for peer support services, aiming to identify ways the Section can better support its members.

Each focus group was expertly led by one of our esteemed panelists, ensuring that participant feedback was collected comprehensively. The insights gleaned from these sessions will play a pivotal role in shaping the future programming and advocacy efforts of the OBA.


During the CPD programming focus group, participants emphasized the importance of setting clear CPD goals, particularly in areas related to marketing oneself or establishing a firm, such as strategies for solo practitioners. Additionally, there was an expressed interest in peer mentorship, with members suggesting the introduction of 'mentor meals' to connect experienced mentors with new practitioners. This initiative aims to foster valuable guidance and networking opportunities.

In the advocacy focus group discussions, concerns were raised regarding lack of effective communication with decision-makers within the legal sphere. Participants highlighted the prevalence of judicial review as the only remedy for practitioners in many cases, underlining the need for improved avenues of problem resolution through early engagement. Suggestions included enhancing customer service standards, implementing software solutions for streamlined processes, establishing live contact support agents, and appointing liaison officers within MP offices to facilitate smoother interactions. Additionally, the group proposed the introduction of an ombudsman or exclusive hotline to address concerns promptly and effectively.

The support services group focused on bolstering support for young immigration lawyers. Participants recommended expanding resources, particularly through the enlargement of a young lawyers' listserve. This platform would serve as a vital hub for networking, resource-sharing, and professional development opportunities, tailored specifically to the needs of emerging legal professionals in the field of immigration law.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who attended and contributed to the success of this event. Your active participation and thoughtful contributions underscore the strength and vitality of our community. Rest assured, OBA executives are carefully considering the feedback provided and are committed to addressing all of your requests.

Stay tuned for more enriching events and opportunities as we continue to strive for excellence in serving our members and advancing the field of immigration law.

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