conference image

LGBTQ+ Asylum: Representing Clients Seeking Safety

May 14, 2019
Web Seminar

You must be logged in to register for this conference.

Register for Live Event:
  • $0.00
Special Pricing for Members: $59
Presented 5/14/2019
02:00 PM (ET)
CLE Eligible Yes
Length 90 min.
Format Web Seminar
SKU WS2019-05-14

Our expert panelists will discuss the ins and outs of representing LGBTQ+ clients seeking asylum in the United States. They will cover issues specific to LGBTQ+ individuals, including sensitive topics that need to be addressed when representing members of this population—e.g., preferred names and pronouns, dealing with DHS arguments regarding non-discrimination laws, etc. If you represent LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, or if you want to start, this seminar is a must!

Featured Topics

  • Crafting a Cognizable Particular Social Group Based on the Client’s Sexual and Gender Identity
  • How to Deal with Persecution by Private Actors Post-Matter of A–B–
  • Contesting DHS Arguments: Home Country Non-Discrimination Laws, Previous Opposite Gender Relationships, Past Sex Work, and Future Admissibility
  • Trans-Specific Issues, Including Name and Gender Marker Changes, Ensuring the Adjudicator Refers to the Client Correctly, and Avoiding Detention Due to Safety Concerns
  • Trauma-Informed Representation

Free Downloadable Seminar Recording Included with Live Registration Included with registration, participants in the live seminar will receive a free downloadable recording of the seminar. It will be available in participant's Agora Digital Library approximately 4-7 business days from the seminar date. Order Recordings


Denise Hunter is a Staff Attorney representing Whitman-Walker Health patients in immigration, name change, and other related legal matters. She helps screen, train and mentor volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono representation for immigration cases. Prior to joining Whitman-Walker Health in 2015, Ms. Hunter was an immigration attorney at Avuda and Hogar Immigrant Services. Since 2008, she has volunteered and interned with CLINIC’s Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project, CAIR Coalition, Human Rights First, Amnesty International of Poland, World Organization for Human Rights USA, and GW's International Human Rights Law Clinic. Ms. Hunter received my law degree from George Washington University Law School with an award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service, and received her bachelor’s degree from Wesley College. I am a member of the Maryland and DC bars.

Chelsea Haley Nelson is a founding partner at HaleyNelson & Heilbrun, LLP, in Oakland, California, and a Certified Immigration Law Specialist with the California State Bar. Her practice focuses on complex removal defense, family based petitions and waivers, VAWA/U/T visas, LGBTQ cases, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Circuit and District Courts. Ms. Haley Nelson serves as counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ immigration program, as a cooperating attorney for the Transgender Law Center on immigration issues, as a mentor attorney and trainer for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights pro bono asylum program, a mentor for the Northern California Rapid Response and Immigrant Defense Network, and co-counsels with pro bono firms representing victims of worksite enforcement raids. Ms. HaleyNelson is on the Board of the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) Foundation, and has chaired the Boards of the National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco-Bay Area chapter’s Immigration Committee, BALIF, and served in various roles in the Northern California chapter of AILA. She is a frequent speaker and author on international human rights of women, LGBTQ individuals, asylum, family-based immigration as well as self-care and competency in practice.

Sarah B. Pitney is an Associate Attorney at Benach Collopy LLP. Sarah joined Benach Collopy after serving as an immigration attorney in Miami, Florida with Todd Law, P.A. She has represented clients in various proceedings on both the detained and non-detained dockets before the Immigration Courts. In addition to her experience in deportation defense, Ms. Pitney has also represented clients in family-based petitions, adjustment of status, waivers, asylum, and naturalization cases.

Joanna Gaughan is an immigration attorney with Gabriela J. Matthews and Associates in Durham, North Carolina. She represents immigrants in removal proceedings, with a focus on asylum. Joanna previously worked as a Staff Attorney at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and as a pro bono coordinating attorney at Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), where she helped provide access to counsel for unaccompanied immigrant children. Joanna earned her J.D. from the University of Arizona. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a public school teacher in Brooklyn, NY, and worked with undocumented Burmese refugees in Thailand.

Note: Due to the nature of the topic, registration for this seminar is limited to AILA members only.

The speaker's/author's views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA, nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. Practice tips provided are based on the speaker's/author's experiences and the current state of the law. Please be sure to conduct legal research and analysis for your unique situation as the law changes quickly and experiences may differ from your own.
Special Pricing for Members: $59
AILA Member/International Associates $59
AILA Members’ Paralegals $59
AILA Nonprofit Members $59
AILA Law Student Members $59
You can register for this event quickly and securely online by adding this item to your cart and paying by credit card.

The LGBTQ+ Asylum: Representing Clients Seeking Safety web seminar takes place Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at the times noted below:

  • 2:00 pm–3:30 pm eastern time
  • 1:00 pm–2:30 pm central time
  • 12:00 pm–1:30 pm mountain time
  • 11:00 am–12:30 pm pacific time

The registration deadline for this seminar is 11:59 pm ET on May 13, 2019.

Tuition Assistance

Full and partial tuition assistance will be offered to participants based on need and availability for all audio and web seminars. Please complete the tuition assistance application for consideration.
AILA will administer CLE credit to individuals who register for and dial in to the seminar only. AILA cannot verify your attendance and participation in this program unless you register directly for the seminar and use your own telephone line to participate in the call. Therefore, persons who listen in on the call as part of a group will not be able to obtain CLE credit.
Please note that your jurisdiction may limit the amount of distance learning credit you can earn. To view details on your jurisdiction's credit restrictions and CLE requirements, please visit the CLE Center.
AILA has filed for CLE and specialized credit in all jurisdictions with mandatory CLE requirements. For details about specific approvals, please contact us at

  • AILA applies for accreditation upon attorneys request after participation for the following states: AR, DE, IA, ID, KY, LA, ME, MN, MS, NH, OR, RI, and WY. Programs are typically approved.
  • Florida - Attorneys must apply on their own for approval of live audio/web seminars in FL. Programs are typically approved.

To receive CLE credit, attorneys must record seminar attendance and the CLE code provided within one week of the seminar date via webCLE.
Reporting Deadline: CLE credits must be reported within one week of the seminar date on AILA’s webCLE site. Credits not reported on webCLE by the deadline will be subject to an administrative fee.

Terms and Conditions of Use:

Please read the following terms and conditions carefully before using this website. If you do not wish to be bound by these terms and conditions, please do not access or use this site.

AILA presents the information on webCLE as a CLE service to its attorney members and non-member attorneys with valid product proof(s) of purchase. Only attorneys with valid product proof(s) of purchase may access webCLE. Any suspicious or unauthorized activity (including but not limited to: the creation of multiple accounts, download, and distribution of copyrighted material or software from AILA's website, or from other referenced websites) is strictly prohibited. The compilation of all content on this website is the exclusive property of AILA and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws.

Timeliness of CLE reporting is solely the attorneys' responsibility. AILA makes no guarantees regarding a jurisdiction's final CLE approval(s) or the amount of time it may take a jurisdiction to grant approval(s). As a result, attorneys who are using AILA's CLE products to fulfill an urgent compliance deadline should prepare adequately beforehand, which includes allowing sufficient processing time and checking with their jurisdiction to ensure timely filing before relying on a product to fulfill their CLE obligation. AILA will attempt to provide attorneys with CLE assistance related to AILA products whenever possible. However, AILA makes no warranties (expressed or implied) regarding the timeliness of state bars' CLE approvals, information received from the state bars pertaining to CLE approval, or timeliness of attorneys' CLE reporting as these factors are beyond AILA's control. Thus, AILA assumes no responsibility or subsequent liability over delays or adverse actions that may result in untimely CLE reporting.

If you have any questions about these terms and conditions or webCLE, please contact:

No refunds will be given after the seminar has started.

Order Recordings of this Conference: