Become a Pro Bono Attorney with the Immigrant Legal Defense Center
The Santa Barbara County Immigrant Legal Defense Center (ILDC) is an emerging non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide equal access to justice and due process to indigent immigrants. In doing so, the organization will 1) coordinate the recruitment and training of volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono immigration legal services to non citizens, particularly those facing deportation and 2) provide community education to help immigrants understand their basic civil rights.

If you are interested in becoming a pro bono attorney through our organization, and therefore represent Santa Barbara County residents in bond proceedings, please complete this form.


According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are more than 100,000 immigrants living in Santa Barbara County. Of those, 43,000 are undocumented and 86% of them have resided in the County for 5+ years. Moreover, nearly 48% of all children in Santa Barbara County live in a household where one or more parents are foreign born. While noncitizens have a right to counsel, they do not have a right to counsel at the government's expense. After being detained, noncitizens are traditionally sent to remote detention centers where access to counsel is zero to none. According to a study by the American Immigration Council (2016), only 14% of detained immigrants secure legal representation. Currently, in Santa Barbara County, not a single Santa Barbara based non-profit organization provides systematic representation to immigrants in removal proceedings. Thus, the vast majority of individuals being arrested and placed into removal proceedings are unrepresented and faced with the prospect of steep and generally unaffordable legal fees even when they have a good defense against deportation.


The ILDC will fill this void by recruiting and training volunteer attorneys to represent immigrants who have lived in Santa Barbara County, cannot afford private representation, and are eligible for release on bond. Volunteer attorneys will first attend a comprehensive bond training conducted by seasoned practitioners to learn the nuts and bolts of bond representation. Then, attorneys will be matched with a mentoring immigration attorney who will provide guidance on each case to ensure high quality legal representation.

The ILDC is scheduled to open it's doors this summer.

If you are unable to volunteer, but would still like to help, consider making a donation by sending a check to: 120 E. Jones St. Suite 117 Santa Maria, CA 93454 addressed to the: "Santa Barbara County Immigrant Legal Defense Center."

Thank You,
Anahi Mendoza, Executive Director
120 E. Jones St. Suite 117 Santa Maria, CA 93454 - (805) 886-9136

Note: All information on this form will be kept strictly confidential to the Santa Barbara County Immigrant Legal Defense Center and will not be released without your consent.
Email address *
Full Name (First and Last) *
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Phone Number *
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Mailing Address *
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I am interested in becoming a...
Employment *
Area of Practice *
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State of Licensure *
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Current License Status *
If currently inactive, are you willing to activate your license to volunteer?
Are you an attorney in good standing? *
Is your pro bono work covered by malpractice insurance? *
If any, what kind of previous experience do you have in immigration law?
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Are you proficient in any language other than English? If so, state proficiency. If not, do you have access to an interpreter (please note, this is not a requirement to volunteer).
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Are you able to travel?
Following training, are you interested in taking a full removal case (i.e. an asylum, cancellation of removal, or Special Immigrant Juvenile case)?
Additional Information: Is there anything else you would like us to know?
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