Immigration Law Career Guide

By Michael Umberger and Devan Orr
Updated July 2022


American Immigration Lawyers Assoc., Ethics in a Brave New World: Professional Responsibility, Personal Accountability, and Risk Management for Immigration Practitioners (2004).
This book includes general tips on how to have a successful and fulfilling career in this field of law.
KF306 .E843 2004 (STACKS)

Harvard Law School Office of Public Interest,Serving Immigrants and Refugees: A Guide to Careers in the Law (2007).
A guide to the issues, practice areas, jobs, and fellowships in immigration and related areas of the law.

Immigration Law Client Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Working with Clients to Overcome Challenges in a Rapidly-Changing Field (2008).
"Featuring partners and chairs from some of the nation's leading law firms, these experts discuss how to manage expectations, develop client relationships, and plan strategically." --From the back cover
Publisher's Description
KF4819 .I455 2008 (STACKS)


Susan N. Burgess, Developing and Marketing a Solo Immigration Practice, Immigration Briefings, Sept. 2005, at 1.
A solo immigration lawyer gives advice on how to have a successful solo immigration practice.

The Crisis in the Immigration Courts, 95 Judicature 56 (2011).
This editorial describes the challenges faced by immigration judges and attorneys, particularly the heavy caseloads.

G.M. Filisko, Hot Zone: Immigration Law Raises a Unique Mix of Ethics Issues for Lawyers, ABA Journal, March 2012, at 22.
A look at some of the ethical problems that arise in this practice area.

Leslie C. Levin, Guardians at the Gate: The Backgrounds, Career Paths, and Professional Development of Private US Immigration Lawyers, 34 Law & Social Inquiry 399 (2009).
Findings from a qualitative study of 71 New York immigration lawyers in private practice. Compares immigration law to other practice areas.

Marco Poggio, 83,000 Afghans Made It To The US. Now They Need Lawyers, Law360, February 6, 2022.
An article describing the need for immigration lawyers due to the influx of Afghani refugees over the past year.

Steven T. Taylor, High Employment and Politics Drive Increase in Immigration Work, Of Counsel, Apr. 2019, at 1. 
Discusses how the current political climate has generated a significant need for more immigration attorneys. 

Steven T. Taylor, Immigration Lawyer Founded, Grew Practice, Now Poised for Major Changes, Of Counsel, Feb. 2017, at 24.
An interview with attorney Susan Cohen about her decision to become an immigration lawyer. 

Mark F. Walsh, Student Interest in Immigration Law Rises With Recent Political Developments, ABA Journal, Nov. 2017, at 19. 
Discusses how a growing number of law students in America are becoming more interested in immigration law as well as the need for more immigration attorneys. 

Margaret Wong, Immigration Law, GP Solo, March-April 2013, at 34.
This article surveys the legal issues immigration lawyers grapple with, describes a "day in the life" of an immigration lawyer, and offers tips for success in this field.


Immigration Briefings
Published by Thomson Reuters
Available on Westlaw

Immigration Daily
Available free at:


ABA Commission on Immigration
The Commission provides education and information about immigration law and develops and assists pro bono programs. Their website includes a guide to pro bono opportunities and information about the Commission’s own internship program.

American Immigration Council
The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring.

American Immigration Lawyers Association
AILA is a national association of over 10,000 lawyers and professors who work in the field of immigration law. The association includes 35 local chapters. AILA’s website includes a career page where you can post your resume and review job opportunities.

Immigration Advocates Network
The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), a program of Pro Bono Net, is dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology.

Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals. Founded in 1994 as the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, Immigration Equality has grown to a membership of 10,000 people in cities all over the country. Immigration Equality is run by a board of directors and has full-time staff in our national headquarters in New York.

National Immigration Law Center
NILC's mission is to protect and promote the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members. NILC staff specialize in immigration law and the employment and public benefits rights of immigrants. They conduct policy analysis and impact litigation and provide publications, technical advice, and trainings to a broad constituency of legal aid agencies, community groups, and pro bono attorneys.

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
The National Immigration Project is a progressive legal support group that focuses on immigrant rights.

Photo:  Associated Press