Legal Aid Service of Collier County Volunteering
1. Commit to 1-2 hours a week over several weeks to work with a citizenship candidate on preparation for the citizenship test. You were going to confer with Sr. Maureen about more details on the time commitment. We should also know about the location for this volunteering. Is it usually done at your offices during business hours; at a public location mutually agreed by the volunteer and the client, e.g., at a library, church building, or coffee shop; or can the coaching sessions be done in someone's home? Legal Aid welcomes mentors who can guide applicants for citizenshipthrough the civics material which is posted on the USCIS website. Hours and place for client sessions to be determined by the mentors. Legal Aid will help coordinate the first meeting between the client and mentor. Legal Aid will also conduct an orientation and training session for those who sign up to be mentors."
2. Get training and do research with regard to conditions in a specific country and hometown area for immigrants.
This "research support" role can involve administrative follow up with consulates, getting copies of birth certificates, etc. The volunteer would need an overview with attorneys on the work that needs to be done for a specific case; the specifics of what is needed tends to be ad hoc based on particular of a case, and depends on what the US immigration court requires. Requirements from specific countries and in specific cases will vary. The background research work "can be very time consuming but doesn't require legal training". Depending on the country/countries the cases are for, there might not be a steady flow of demand of workload. Depends on who comes thru the door seeking legal assistance with the immigration case. We also agreed that it might be useful for any one volunteer to focus on a particular country might be helpful so that someone can get familiar with the resources in that country, and we might look to get a group of volunteers and then assign one to each country. While foreign language skills are not required, knowing Spanish, French/Creole and Portuguese is useful. Legal Aid welcomes research on country conditions for appropriate political asylum applicants. This research will be triggered by the attorney as needed and can be done from the researcher's home computer. While foreign language skills are not required, knowing Spanish, French/Creole and/or Portuguese is useful.
Another source of "research" information needed by the immigration attorneys are the articles and alerts published by independent sources such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and newspaper articles. Volunteers would be assigned to research information from those independent sources as well.
This volunteering is something that can be done from one's home with internet and phone service, but the actual amount of workflow is not as predictable as are some of the other volunteer opportunities.
3. Commit to a day a week in the Immokalee office of LASCC, after getting training, to provide administrative support under the guidance of the temporary office manager, Karen Cabrerro (I didn't catch her name, sorry!) while your regular person is on medical leave of absence. Legal Aid welcomes volunteers to do administrative tasks in the Immokalee office. The schedule can be mutually agreed upon but a time commitment of 1 day per week is requested. Legal Aid will provide orientation and training.