Judges give low marks to lawyers in immigration cases

Judges give low marks to lawyers in immigration cases

"The performance of many lawyers who represent immigrants facing deportation in New York has long been considered mediocre. But in a new report that seeks to measure the extent of the problem, immigration judges themselves step forward and offer a scathing assessment of much of the lawyering they have witnessed in their courtrooms.  Immigrants received “inadequate” legal assistance in 33 percent of the cases between mid-2010 and mid-2011 and “grossly inadequate” assistance in 14 percent of the cases, the judges said. They gave private lawyers the lowest grades, while generally awarding higher marks to pro bono counsel and those from nonprofit organizations and law school clinics.  The study was conducted by a group of lawyers and researchers under the auspices of Robert A. Katzmann, a federal appellate judge in New York City." - New York Times, Dec. 19, 2011.