This webinar is geared toward those who are new (or newer) to presenting cases to the immigration judge at the “merits” or “individual” hearing, which is like the trial in a removal case. Through the lens of a non-LPR cancellation case, this webinar will focus on how to present your client’s application for relief to the immigration judge. We will discuss building your case through witnesses, written evidence, and the theory of the case, among other topics. Advocates will leave with the tools to comprehensively present their clients’ cases to the judge.
Grisel Ruiz is a Supervising Attorney in San Francisco where she focuses on the intersection between immigration law and criminal law. This includes advising attorneys and advocates on the immigration consequences of criminal offenses, training on removal defense, and supporting local and statewide campaigns to push back on immigration enforcement. In addition to technical assistance, training, and campaign support in these areas, Grisel also helps lead the ILRC’s state legislative work. Grisel is currently the Board Chair for Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC), a nonprofit that advocates for detained immigrants.
Prior to working with the ILRC, Grisel was a litigation associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and a Stimson Fellow housed at the UC Davis Law School Immigration Clinic and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. As a legal fellow, she co-founded “Know Your Rights” programs at local immigration detention centers, for which she received an award from Cosmo for Latinas.
Grisel is an immigrant herself and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago where she received the Tony Patiño Fellowship. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, where she dual majored in Political Science and Spanish Literature. Grisel is admitted to the bar in California is fluent in Spanish.
Valerie Anne Zukin joined the Immigrant Legal Resource Center as a Special Projects Attorney in June 2020. Her work focuses on building capacity of organizations and practitioners to assist immigrants. Specifically, Valerie is coordinating implementation and training for the California Immigrant Justice Fellowship, the first California-sponsored legal fellowship program to expand access to counsel in the most underserved rural regions of the state. Valerie also conducts trainings on immigration law, contributes to ILRC publications, and provides legal expertise through the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Zukin served as the Legal Director the for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ), a regional collaborative for detained immigrant representation comprised of legal service providers providing pro bono detained representation in Northern and Central California. In this role, Zukin facilitated sharing best practices and strategy around litigation and advocacy, provided technical assistance and training, served as the lead coordinator for the AILA Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project for recent-arrival asylum seekers, and administered the pro bono Attorney of the Day Program for the detained dockets at the San Francisco Immigration Court. She previously practiced at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale from 2011 to 2017, and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project from 2007 to 2011, where she represented clients in complex immigration matters before the immigration agencies and federal courts. Valerie received her B.A. from Haverford College and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. Valerie is fluent in Spanish.