A day in the life of an Attorney of the Day

The program’s the only one of its kind in the country and it addresses a need that most people don’t realize exists: immigrants facing deportation have no right to a lawyer, not even when they’re children.

Audio, News Story (California)

Lezak Shallat
KALW (San Francisco) (local NPR)
June 21, 2016

Tags: Immigration Process, Justice for All

Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA)


On those days, Shugall gets to immigration court at 100 Montgomery extra-early. But there’s really not much she can do in advance for the dozen or so clients she’ll represent that morning. She’s never met them before.

Shugall is one of about 70 Attorneys of the Day. They do a kind of “stop-gap” legal aid: over the course of a day, they speed-walk immigrants through their initial court hearings. The idea is to buy time in the hopes that people without lawyers will have time to find representation before they have to plead their cases.

“On a typical day, there’s usually a lot of young children running around, crawling around the floors, sometimes crying,” Shugall says. “Everyone is also very nervous.”