Skip to main content

2023 Immigration Pro Bono Program

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Introduction to Asylum Law and Review of the Form I-589

Jacob G. Oakes, Pisgah Legal Services, Asheville

Discuss the framework of the U.S. asylum law and the eligibility rights. Delve through each page of the I-589 Application for Asylum.

10:00      Break

10:10      Current Litigation/Policies Affecting Asylum Seekers and Background on Asylum Seekers in North Carolina

Rebekah Niblock, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Charlotte

Discuss Title 42 and other relevant policies and issues affecting asylum seekers. Overview of asylum seekers in North Carolina and relevant asylum statistics, include for child asylum seekers.

10:50      Break

11:00      Unaccompanied Children and Child Centered Approach

Rebekah Niblock, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Charlotte

Discuss the definition of unaccompanied children and special protections, including for asylum. Overview of filing procedures for UC asylum seekers and removal proceedings, child centered approach, interviewing the client and the use of interpreter, CCLA Pro Bono Asylum Program and description of expectations of pro bono attorneys.

12:20      Adjourn

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for 2023 Immigration Pro Bono Program.


The 2021 NC Legal Needs Assessment found that immigration issues present the second most pressing legal need in the state for unrepresented individuals. To help meet that need, legal aid providers have created pro bono projects that serve immigrants seeking asylum but lack enough resources to train and supervise volunteers.


  • Evan G. Lewis

    Evan G. Lewis is the owner of the Law Office of Evan G. Lewis in Washington (NC). His general civil practice firm provides service to its clients in the areas of social security disability, creating and counseling small business entitities and non-profit organizations, and certain elder law issues. Although it's a local firm interested in helping Beaufort, Craven, Pitt, Hyde, Washington, Martin, Tyrrell and surrounding county residents and businesses, it also has established a statewide non-profit advisory practice and regional consumer protection and small business practices. Evan has over forty years of legal experience.

    Professionally, Evan is also an active member and past president of the Beaufort County Bar Association, has served on the Professionalism and Pro Bono Committees of the North Carolina Bar Association and participates in the work of the Richard Powell Legal Society.

    A strong believer in giving back to the community, Evan was honored as North Carolina's Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in 2007 and has repeatedly been recognized as a member of the state Pro Bono Honor Roll.

    Evan is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia School of Law. He has been admitted to practice in state and federal courts in North Carolina, Virginia (inactive), and Washington, D.C. (inactive), and the United States Tax Court. He has also been admitted to practice before the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration.

    Click here for more information about Evan.

  • Daniel J. Melo

    Daniel J. Melo is a staff attorney on the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh. He joined the Justice Center in 2021. He has worked as an attorney alongside migrants and refugees in North Carolina since 2015, helping to empower them to build a more just and democratic society.

    Daniel's work has included direct representation of migrants from many places in a wide array of legal settings, as well as publications analyzing the political economy of migration in the US. He is the son of an immigrant and spent part of his childhood growing up in a rural part of the Dominican Republic.

    Daniel earned his B.A. from Pfeiffer University and his J.D., with a Certificate in Civil Advocacy, from Charlotte School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Daniel.

  • Rebekah Niblock

    Rebekah Niblock is a Senior Supervising Attorney at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy working in the Immigrant Justice Program. She works to provide low-cost legal representation to vulnerable immigrant populations ensuring their rights are protected and that they receive due process of law.

    Before joining Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Rebekah worked over 4 years as a Staff Attorney with the Immigration Project in Champaign, IL and taught as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Illinois College of Law's Domestic Violence Immigration Clinic. After a successful career practicing and teaching immigration law in Illinois, she has returned home to her native North Carolina to continue her career representing clients seeking immigration relief and protection from deportation.

    Rebekah earned her B.A. in Romance Languages and International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Rebekah.

  • Jacob G. Oakes

    Jacob G. Oakes is the Director of the Justice for All Project (JFAP) at Pisgah Legal Services in Asheville, where he has worked since 2017. He is an experienced bilingual immigration attorney with a demonstrated history of working in non-profit legal services agencies in North Carolina representing immigrants, farmworkers, and other marginalized individuals access legal services. He is skilled in Immigration Law, Employment Law, Public Speaking, Legal Writing, and Legal Research.

    JFAP serves low-income immigrants throughout western North Carolina in immigration matters before USCIS and the Immigration Court, with a focus on humanitarian relief, including asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and U and T Visreas. In addition to providing direct representation, Jacob has trained and supervised dozens of attorneys in representing asylum seekers in affirmative applications before USCIS.

    Jacob earned his B.A. in Human Ecology, Latin American Studies from College of the Atlantic and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jacob.

  • Rachel L. Royal

    Rachel L. Royal is the Founder and Owner of Royal Touch Legal & Business Solutions LLC in Wilmington. The company was founded on the principles of devoted work ethic, exceeding expectations, integrity, and faith. Royal Touch offers freelance services to sole practitioners and small law firms who do not have the capacity for a full-time or even part-time paralegal or who needs assistance on a short-term basis for large projects or cases. They can also provide contract services to corporate or municipal law offices, as well as other freelance/virtual paralegal firms.

    Rachel is proficient in drafting pleadings, motions, notices, discovery requests and responses, legal research and writing, project planning and coordination, and general law office organization. She is a freelance paralegal certified by both the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) and the North Carolina State Bar.

    Rachel graduated with honors from Carteret Community College's Paralegal Technology program as the Paralegal Graduate of the Year in 2017. She has 5 years of combined experience working as an on-site paralegal and 2 years of experience as a remote freelance paralegal and project coordinator. Her previous employment includes a privately owned practice, a corporate law office, and the Wilmington (NC) City Attorney's Office.

    Rachel has been contracted by the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission as a paralegal consultant and project coordinator since January 2021. With that organization, she has worked on the Driver's License Restoration and Housing Stability Projects, as well as managed the social media accounts for the Pro Bono Resource Center and the Commission. She is also a North Carolina notary public and electronic notary public, as well as a Public Arbitrator for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

    Rachel has been a member in good standing with the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division since 2015. She has been Pro Bono Co-Chair for the Division since 2018. She served a 3-year term as a voting council member of the Division from 2018 to 2021 and served as the Secretary for the 2021-22 Bar year. Rachel has also been a consistent contributor to the Paralegal Division Blog since 2018.

    Volunteering is one of Rachel's greatest passions, and she has devoted a great deal of time doing this in a paralegal capacity and encouraging paralegals across the state to join in this effort. Her volunteer activities have included: Legal on the Line - Paralegal Partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina, Wills for Heroes as a notary public, Disaster Legal Services as a call screener, Disaster Relief clinics and FEMA Appeals clinics for victims of Hurricane Florence, 4All Statewide Service Day as a call screener, and a site coordinator and scoring director for the NCAJ Wilmington Regional High School Mock Trial competitions each year since 2019.

    Rachel lives in Wilmington with her husband, two sons, and Toy Australian Shepherd and enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, cooking, and reading.

    Click here for more information about Rachel.

Click here to view Forms and CLE Policies, Terms and Conditions.

If paying by check, click here for a printable registration form. Please reference the live webcast program code 216PBP.

March 17, 2023
Fri 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 3H 25M

This live web event has ended.

For Technical Support
*for callers residing outside of the United States