National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Advocacy in Immigration Matters

October 23,2019 thru October 25,2019
NITA Education Center
1685 38th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
Tuition: $1845.00


As an immigration defense lawyer, you know that practicing in immigration court is increasingly rife with hurdles and complexity. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy recognizes this reality and, in response, has developed Advocacy in Immigration Matters, a specialized program designed to help you rapidly upgrade your skills in representing those facing removal from the United States. Unlike other immigration law trainings you may have attended, the emphasis at NITA is on "learning by doing." This one-of-a-kind program is well beyond a lecture-focused learning experience.

Download PDF of the course brochure here


During this three-day program, you will perform case analysis, make and meet objections, conduct direct, cross, and re-direct examinations, learn how to use exhibits, and offer a concise yet compelling closing argument, all in small groups of your peers. The instructors — some of the most experienced trial lawyers in the country — will share constructive feedback and specific ideas on how to refine your skills. As you watch your peers perform, you will also absorb the "teachable moments" from their performance and instructor critique, which means each layer of learning is continually reinforced by what you hear, see, and most importantly, do. In addition, each day includes lectures and faculty demonstration of each skill.

In just three days, this Advocacy in Immigration Matters program — as with the other time-tested, premier programming that NITA is known for — will swiftly refine your trial practice, leaving you with greater skill and confidence that shows up where it matters the most: when you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your client in the courtroom.

"In the over twenty years I had the honor to serve as an Immigration Judge, I frequently saw attorneys who, although bright, dedicated and familiar with their clients’ cases, had very limited understanding of evidentiary rules, proper forms of direct and cross examination, effective story-telling, and the art of closing argument. These basic trial skills are not usually part of a law school curriculum, and once engaged in the practice of law most attorneys do not take the time to develop or hone their skills, other than by “trial and error” which is, sadly, sometimes at the expense of their clients. The NITA program provides a unique opportunity to develop these extremely important skills. I encourage those who are seeking to represent asylum seekers in Immigration Court to consider taking advantage of this unique and valuable opportunity." – Hon Eliza C. Klein, United States Immigration Judge (Retired)

"Trial advocacy in our United States Immigration Courts is a skill to be acquired. Proper preparation prevents poor performance! And proper preparation and presentation of your asylum case are vital to the vulnerable population of the asylum seeker. Where these cases are generally adversarial, it is incumbent that you know how to navigate the immigration court system; that you know the rules of the court, that you know how to create a complete record, lay foundation, present evidence, examine witnesses, and make cogent arguments. And where credibility is so critically important, you must help your client and witnesses present a credible story through testimony and corroborative evidence. The NITA training program will help you achieve these goals through its learning by doing. And at the end of the training program with your new trial skills, you will be able to present the very best case for your client." – Hon. John F. Gossart, Jr., United States Immigration Judge (Retired)


NITA’s “learning-by-doing” method, when practiced in the safe harbor of the classroom, allows you to feel more comfortable taking calculated risks and performing under pressure, without ever jeopardizing your client’s case or your own reputation.


This program is specially designed for immigration defense lawyers who are looking to rapidly upgrade their trial skills in representing those facing removal from the United States.

Scholarships are available for this program through the NITA foundation. Additional information on how to apply for a scholarship, can be found here.


– One on one personalized feedback and coaching from NITA faculty

– Case Materials


"This course was career-changing. I can't believe I've been practicing immigration law without taking a course on trial skills. The instructors were absolutely incredible. I hope I have the chance to take this course again." - Koby Polaski, Elkind Alterman Hartston PC

"I'd recommend this course to any immigration practitioner hoping to expand into litigation work. The skills taught are invaluable and pretty much impossible to gain anywhere other than just throwing yourself into the classroom." - Clare Murphy Shaw, McCrummen Immigration Law

Michelle Mendez

Catholic Legal Immigrant Network, Inc
Silver Spring, MD

See Full Bio

You may check in for the program from 8:00 - 8:30 am on October 23. The program will start promptly at 8:30 am on that date and will conclude on October 25 at 6:00 pm.

The program will be held at the following location:

NITA Education Center
1685 38th St. Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301

Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. Please see below for a negotiated room rate for this program, you must contact the hotel directly for reservations and additional information.Residence Inn Boulder
3030 Center Green Drive
Boulder, CO 80301

NITA Advocacy in Immigration Matters Room Block Information

Start date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
End date: Friday, October 25, 2019
Last day to book: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate of 179.00 USD per night

Book your room under the special rate


The Denver International Airport (DIA) is about 1 hour from Boulder.

The Boulder Super Shuttle has an airport shuttle that goes between DIA and Boulder and is open daily from 5:00 am until 12:00 midnight. The cost is around $25.00 one-way or $46.00 round-trip to any Hotel in the area. For more information, please call 303.227.0000. (Note: Travel time may be up to 2 hours.)

The Green Ride Boulder has airport shuttles that run between DIA and Boulder as well. The cost is approximately $25 one-way and $48 round-trip. They have a pick-up and drop-off depot right by the Homewood Suites Boulder Hotel for quick and convenient service. For more information, please call 303.997.0238.

Taxi service is also available at level 5 of the airport. There is a stand with cabs available. The cost is approximately $85.00. Union Cabs can be ordered by calling 303.922.2222.Parking Information

Parking at the hotels and facility are free.Meals

Lunch provided one-day with snacks and refreshments provided every day of the program.Attire

Business casual.

CLE Credits

All states have different MCLE requirements. Please make sure that the state(s) you require credit for were either noted in your registration or communicated to the Program Specialist prior to the start of the program. NITA will not apply to states for course approval after the start of the program. Please note that if you do not complete the program in its entirety, some states do not award partial credit.

For an estimate of credit hours by program type, please see below.

States Based on a 50 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 36-75 Credits
Deposition Program: 16-25 Credits
Specialty Program: 8-22 Credits

States Based on a 60 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 30-63 Credits
Deposition Program: 13-21 Credits
Specialty Program: 7-20 Credits

If you need to know the exact number of credits for a specific program please contact your Program Specialist.


Program materials will be e-mailed approximately four weeks prior to program's commencement. Please remember to bring these materials with you. If you have not received your materials 2 weeks before the program please notify NITA Central.

Pre-program preparation requires that you become familiar with the FACTS associated with the case file and/or problems. In order to get the maximum benefit from the program, it is imperative that you prepare as much as possible in advance as time for preparation during the program is extremely limited. Please refer to the Program Schedule for assignment details to prepare for your performances in each workshop.

Every participant will be asked to serve as a witness during the program. Your advanced reading should focus not only on reviewing the case materials but also in becoming familiar enough with the facts so you can play each of the witnesses listed in the program schedule. Withouteveryone's advance preparation the learning experience will be diminished. Please prepare to help your fellow participants as they are preparing to make your performances better.

Note: The Immigration Court Practice Manual and the Federal Rules of Evidence govern these exercises. Prior to the program, we request that you view online presentations about advocacy skills and thoroughly read the case file and suggested legal authority.

Advocate Designation

Are you serious about developing a well-rounded foundation in advocacy skills?
Prove it by completing the NITA Advocate Designation program.

Be recognized for your NITA training! Achieving a NITA Designation allows you to demonstrate your expertise to clients and colleagues. Upon completion of your required coursework, NITA will send you a letter, certificate and an e-mail with a special graphic logo attached. Use these documents to demonstrate your advocacy knowledge through your website, advertising, etc. The NITA Designation logo will also be added to your Martindale-Hubble profile.

The required courses for the NITA Advocate Designation include one building trial skills course, one deposition skills course and one specialty course. The courses can be purchased individually but we also offer discounted package pricing.


(Total price if programs are purchased individually: $7135)

In addition to this trial skills course, here are the other upcoming required courses in your area: