HPH Legal Aid Now BIA Accredited!

In April, the Clinic received accreditation by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), an office within the Department of Justice, to work with a wide variety of immigration matters. This not only recognizes the clinic as a qualified provider of immigration legal services, but it also recognizes specific members of its staff as qualified to practice immigration law before the Board.

“This is a great accomplishment to obtain BIA accreditation in our first year of operations” said Kathryn Vanden Berk, Managing Attorney. “We knew from the outset that immigration would be a primary focus of the clinic, and to achieve this recognition as a relatively new organization is a tremendous accomplishment.”

The BIA-accredited representatives are allowed to practice in the area of immigration law even though they do not have licenses to practice law. The accreditation affirms a high level of training and experience. Executive Director Karyn Davidman and Immigration specialist Esteban Carbajal each received this accreditation. Esteban is an employee of HACES in Waukegan, a service provider in the Hispanic community, where he is involved with immigration matters on a daily basis. He works with the clinic’s Spanish-speaking clients and he has prepared many immigration applications during the clinic’s first year of existence.