Welcome fellow advocates!

We’re grateful for your interest in learning about our work and potentially serving alongside our team. Here, you’ll find resources, guides, and training materials related to the New Americans Legal Clinic (NALC), and its associated project, Operation Afghan Refuge (OAR). NALC and OAR exist to help address the immigration legal needs of Afghan evacuees on a journey to resettle in West Michigan.

Summary

Required training for all volunteers serving the NALC project includes Parts I through IV. Application Assistants are additionally required to complete Part V. All training may be completed online at your own pace, and must be completed before your first appointment. The final steps before volunteering are to review and sign onboarding agreements (Culture, Conflict of Interest, Prohibition Against Providing Legal Services) and provide emergency contact information. These documents may also be made available at your first appointment as well for signing, but we highly encourage all volunteers to complete and submit these forms ahead of time.

Questions? Contact David Lee at (201) 873-two-two-four-five / dlee(at)lia-michigan.org

Orientation

To prepare to serve immigrants and refugees, we ask all volunteers to complete the Orientation training, which includes key policies designed to protect volunteers, clients, and staff, expectations, and how to operate within the framework of trauma.

Afghan Culture and NALC Specific

All volunteers preparing to serve in the NALC clinic are also required to watch a video that focuses on the NALC Clinic, and review a guide on how to work with Afghan clients. Once these are complete, you’ll be ready to be onsite and in-person during clinics and to serve in hospitality and general support roles.

Volunteer Agreement and Emergency Contact Information

All volunteers must review and sign the Culture Statement, Conflict of Interest Policy, Prohibition Against Providing Legal Services Agreement, and Volunteer Agreement. These documents are available at this link and button below. Volunteers may print and complete these documents and bring them to their first scheduled appointment. Digital signing by this form is also a convenient option. We’re happy to provide a printed copy of these documents upon request – just let David know!

Role Specific Training

Additional training is required to prepare to serve as an Application Assistant, which covers the first four pages of form I-589 and related forms. This training covers an in-depth review of the actual forms volunteers will be working within while interviewing and conversing with their assigned clients. Reviewed this training video will prepare you to serve as an Application Assistant.


In order to serve all of the clients in our care, we’re set a goal of 5 client appointments per day, three days a week, from May until mid-October – and a well-prepared and trained Application Assistant will need to be present for every one of those appointments!

Conclusion

Thank you for considering how to put kindness, welcome, and empathy into action with our team. As it is with every season, we expect and anticipate changes in the world around us, to adapt to those changes to the best of our ability, and to grow into the needs that we are able to meet.

Please let us know with your questions, comments, and thoughts by getting in touch with David Lee at dlee(at)lia-michigan.org / (201) 873-two-two-four-five.


Training Materials:

Click here to view all training links in a Google Doc

I. Orientation Video

This training video begins with some brief background about Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, and dives into confidentiality, legal advice, and expectations. Each section is divided into its own module. Please pause the video at the end of each section to complete each related Module Quiz before continuing.

For navigation, we’ve created buttons to start the training video at each module and the associated quiz.

II. Trauma Informed Interviewing: Afghan Refugees

Video length: 42 minutes

Please give yourself enough time to watch this training, which was originally held onsite at LIA in Fall 2022.

III. Afghan Culture Guide

Prepared and provided to us by the team Bethany Christian Services, this six page guide contains a useful information on working with Afghan clients.

IV. New Americans Legal Clinic / Asylum

Required for all Asylum Clinic volunteers. Please have the slide show from this training ready before starting.

V. Application Assistant Training

This training covers, in-depth, the following content:

  • How to fill out G-1145
  • How to fill out G-28
  • How to fill out first 4 pages of I-589 plus Supplement A 

This training is only required for volunteers interested in serving as Application Assistants. You may also visit the USCIS page on form I-589, and open a pdf version of the form as you review the training.

Pro Bono Attorney Training

On behalf of Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates – THANK YOU for stepping up to share your specialized education, training, and experience. In addition to your MIRC/OGM provided training, LIA asks that you complete the following training and orientation steps prior to your first scheduled appointment:

  • Part III. Review the Guide to Working with Afghan Clients – full document
  • Part IV. NALC Clinic Overview Video Slideshow Download Training Video

All volunteers must review and sign the Culture Statement, Conflict of Interest Policy, Prohibition Against Providing Legal Services Agreement, and Volunteer Agreement. These documents are available at this link and button below. Volunteers may print and complete these documents and bring them to their first scheduled appointment. Digital signing by this form is also a convenient option. We’re happy to provide a printed copy of these documents upon request – just let David know!