American Immigration Lawyers Association: What is AILA?

By December 31, 2021Immigration Law Blog
American Immigration Lawyers Association

If you have been spending time researching immigration attorneys, you have likely already seen mention of the American Immigration Lawyers Association or AILA. But what is AILA? Why does it matter? And what does it mean for you?

American Immigration Lawyers Association: What is AILA?

If you haven’t guessed already, AILA stands for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

AILA is a professional voluntary bar organization that was founded on October 14th, 1946 and is made up of more than fifteen thousand immigration attorneys and immigration law professors.

Headquartered in Washington DC, AILA is a non-profit organization and is dedicated to representing U.S. families hoping to obtain permanent residence for close family members, U.S. businesses who are interested in hiring talent from other areas of the world, as well as asylum seekers, athletes, foreign students, and entertainers seeking residency in the United States. AILA often represents clients on a pro bono basis.

AILA is made up of thirty-eight chapters across fifty national committees and provides each one with continuing legal education, information, expertise, and professional services.

The Beginning of AILA

AILA was originally founded by 19 immigration lawyers and professionals in Manhattan, New York, but at the time of its founding, it was named the Association of Immigration and Nationality Lawyers. Twelve of AILA’s founding lawyers had previously worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service and their work had exposed a need for something like AILA “to elevate the standard and reputation of the practitioner appearing before the Immigration Service.”

What is AILA’s Mission?

AILA’s mission is published on the American Immigration Lawyers Association website and states that AILA’ mission is to “promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.”

How Does AILA Help Immigrants?

Ongoing Education For Immigration Attorneys

One of the biggest ways that AILA helps immigrants is by providing continued education to immigration attorneys. Staying on top of recent changes and advances in the legal system means that your immigration attorney can always provide you with the best advice and ensure that  your applications and case in general meet with the necessary criteria for current law.

Screening Attorneys

It can be hard to find attorneys when you have to search through a directory or just find an attorney based on an internet search. Organizations like AILA help you to narrow down your immigration attorney selection to an attorney that is truly committed to their field – an attorney who goes the extra mile to ensure that they are providing you with the best service.


Since AILA has been around for seventy five years, they are a trusted organization and a name that can be trusted when it comes to the information that provide and the attorneys that they recommend.

Up To Date Information

AILA also provides a great resource for attorneys and the general public alike because they stay on top of the most current news and developments in immigration news and law. By encouraging discussion and communication among various immigration law professionals, they encourage the spread of factual information.

AILA also encourages networking among professionals within the immigration law community. By creating such an interwoven network of professionals, they also create a social network that allows for professionals to communicate with each other all over the U.S. This comes in useful when clients need recommendations either because they are moving or because they are in need of a professional in a different discipline within the immigration law field.

Networking in this way is good for more than just connecting professionals with clients, networking is also a great source of information as they provide a full library for AILA members to utilize with articles that can be shared among professionals and between attorneys and their clients.

Are You Looking For an Experienced Immigration Attorney?

If you are searching for a reputable immigration attorney in or around Pasadena, California, Nelson and Associates are here to help! To set up your consultation, just call Nelson Law today at 626-683-3451.

Attorney Nelson practices immigration law in Pasadena, California and has been practicing law since 1990. Attorney Nelson is also admitted to the:

U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court Southern District of California
U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1990
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1990
U.S. Supreme Court, 1996