Professional Volunteer Opportunities

The William O. Holston, Jr. Pro Bono Program

Human Rights Initiative recruits and trains legal professionals to provide pro bono representation for our clients through the William O. Holston Jr. Pro Bono Program. Since 2000, HRI staff have trained more than 620 attorneys to represent clients pro bono. Last year lawyers donated more than $2.1 million dollars of pro bono time to our clients. Since the agency’s inception, HRI has won 87% of its asylum cases and 99% of all its other legal cases. Pro bono attorneys are the backbone of HRI’s success.

HRI continuously seeks volunteers to assist with:

  • Affirmative asylum cases
  • Representation of clients at the Houston Asylum Office
  • Representation of clients at trial before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (the Dallas Immigration Court)
  • Representation of a child seeking relief based on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Representation of men, women and children seeking relief under the Violence Against Women Act
  • Representation of men, women, and children seeking relief under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act through a U-Visa

Note: You do not have to be an attorney specializing in immigration and nationality law. We offer group MCLE trainings and individual training to all of our pro bonos. HRI will also provide each pro bono with a link and password to download our Training Manual, Human Rights Initiative: A Pro Bono Guide. The training manual provides detailed information on each of our pro bono programs as well as practice pointers and ethical considerations.

Human Rights Initiative is the only nonprofit organization providing free representation to asylum seekers and children in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. We are dedicated to representing our clients and assisting our volunteers in a manner consistent with the highest standards of dignity and professionalism.


Volunteer Forensic Physicians Program
Are you a physician looking for a unique volunteer opportunity? HRI seeks volunteer physicians to complete forensic medical exams and then prepare brief reports summarizing their findings. These forensic reports, which are submitted with our clients’ asylum claims, are vital to the legal process as they substantiate the physical evidence left from the torture our clients have endured. The average time commitment per client is 10 hours. Sample reports, as well as training materials, will be provided.

HRI’s Featured Forensic Physician:

Mary Ellen Bluntzer

“As a physician I cannot recall any work that has been more fulfilling than my work for HRI clients. It has broadened my medical expertise, used up every part of my life experience and personalized international news in a life changing way.”
Dr. Mary Ellen Bluntzer