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Sabrineh Ardalan, Access to Justice for Asylum Seekers: Developing an Effective Model of Holistic Representation, 48 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 1001 (2015).

Abstract: This Article argues that collaboration among lawyers, psychological and medical professionals, and human rights experts is paramount to ensuring the high-quality representation that asylum seekers need. As policymakers around the country consider different models for expanding immigration representation, it is vital that representation be defined broadly to include the range of experts integral to an asylum seeker’s case. Multidisciplinary representation is a functional requirement to ensure that asylum claims are fully developed and articulated to adjudicators. The article first explores the legal and financial barriers to accessing counsel. It then addresses the challenges that asylum seekers face when forced to present their cases without access to holistic representation. Next, it discusses barriers to inter-professional collaboration in asylum representation. It concludes by recommending a model of holistic representation for asylum seekers.