The Specialized Review Project was developed to address a growing need for in-person legal consultations to assist vulnerable immigrants dealing with complex immigration matters. After NYLAG does an initial assessment with a client, certain of them require a more in-depth evaluation. They are referred to the Specialized Review Project where clients are scheduled for a one-on-one session with an immigration practitioner. The Project primarily serves immigrants who, at the time of initial assessment, may not have a clear pathway for immigration relief. During the session an attorney or BIA accredited representative conducts an individualized review of immigration documents, and an evaluation of an individual’s eligibility for various forms of immigration relief.

Clients can expect a comprehensive screening in a safe, welcoming, and emotionally supportive environment. The Project prioritizes developing a strong rapport with the client, especially those who are victims of violence or immigration fraud. If an individual’s case review identifies a pathway to immigration relief, she is immediately referred to a NYLAG attorney for consideration for case representation. If a deeper document review is required, the Project advises clients on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and NYLAG paralegals assist clients in filling out FOIA government forms whenever necessary. If no avenues of relief are found, the client is thoroughly warned against immigration fraud.

The Project has led to increased operational capacity and resource efficiency for NYLAG and its attorneys thanks to the involvement of paralegals and intake specialists, who take care of time-consuming activities such as scheduling client meetings, gathering relevant documentation in preparation for client sessions, and coordinating language interpretation needs. In addition, the Project enables NYLAG to provide one-on-one sessions for individuals even if they are unable to secure NYLAG’s representation due to funding restrictions or case capacity.