Karnes Pro-Bono Project


Higher Education

An academic institution who wants to provide students experience in asylum law.

*Includes all levels of higher education: undergraduates, graduates, and law students.


  1. Our biggest need is for Spanish speaking volunteers that are capable of “going with the flow.” If you are English only, we do ask that you bring an in-person translator.
  2. We staff the detention center; Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM. The minimum volunteer commitment is Monday – Thursday. Please let me know if you are interested in staying Friday.
  3. We now serve father’s and their sons. The families are extremely traumatized and untrusting to us at first. Volunteers must be able to quickly and effectively build a positive bond between the parent and child.
  4. The environment is unstable and fast paced. Adaptability and patience is everything in our line of work.
  5. You will have our team as a support system, but due to the high volume of clients we try to help, supervision is at a minimum.
  6. Every session with a family usually ranges between 15 minutes – 2 hours. It’s a high turnover rate with each family because everything is time sensitive. Volunteers must balance quantity and quality effectively.


Student tasks include but are not limited to:

  1. Intake.
  2. Credible Fear Interview and Reasonable Fear Interview prep.
  3. Release charla.
  4. Declaration drafting.
  5. Legal research.
  6. Drafting briefs and/or motions.
  7. Representing clients on behalf of RAICES
*Representation of our clients is only reserved for law students.


  1. Fluency in Spanish.
  2. Majors of Social Work, Political Science, Criminal Justice, Public Affairs, World Studies, and Psychology are preferred.
  3. Above average patience and flexibility.
  4. Quick thinking and team oriented.


  1. We prefer that volunteers are fluent in Spanish, have above average patience, flexibility, and the ability to thrive under time constraints.
  2. We prefer that law students are 2ls or 3ls.
  3. Students with experience with trauma survivors are great, but if a student has experience in working with a client in general that’s acceptable too.
  4. The most useful skills are (1) willingness; (2) impartialness; (3) fast-thinking; and (4) team orientated.


Volunteers must commit to a minimum timeframe of Monday – Thursday for any given week. Extending your stay to Friday is available, but optional.
Your reservation will be verified and confirmed to you via email by the Legal Pro Bono Coordinator between 1 – 3 business days.


Volunteers must pay their own expenses, such as flight, lodging, commute, meals, etc.
Approved volunteers will receive a travel guide to assist with planning, which will be found within the training materials.


Approved volunteer must complete the self-training module before arriving to volunteer at Karnes County Residential Center.

  1. Read the Volunteer Training Package and follow its steps.
    1. Only volunteers who complete the necessary steps will be allowed to move to step two of the self-training module.
  2. Watch the Karnes Services Video.
    1. Only volunteers who successfully comply with the video will be allowed to move to step three of the self-training module.
  3. Take the Karnes Pro-Bono Quiz.
    1. Only volunteers who achieve an 80% or higher will be cleared to volunteer at Karnes County Residential Center.
    2. Volunteers will be asked to retake the quiz until an 80% or higher is achieved.