Survey closed on 12/31/2018.

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NILS News

Survey Closed on December 31, 2018

The survey portion of this study is currently closed. We are currently focusing on completing the interview portion of the study and preparing preliminary results of the survey for publication and public dissemination. We want to thank all 334 attorneys who set aside their valuable time to take the survey.

NILS Researcher Dr. Maya Barack will be at the American Society of Criminology

We are excited to announce that NILS researcher, Dr. Maya Barack, will be at the American Society of Criminology conference in Atlanta, Georgia from November 14–16, 2018. If you are attending the conference and are interested in learning more about our work, please reach out to us through the website and we can connect you. … Continue reading NILS Researcher Dr. Maya Barack will be at the American Society of Criminology

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What is the NILS?

NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAWYERS SURVEY (NILS)

RESEARCHER AND TITLE OF STUDY

You are being invited to participate in the study, “Fairness in the Immigration System and Courts,” conducted by Dr. Katherine Abbott (University of New Hampshire), Dr. Maya Barak (University of Michigan-Dearborn), and Dr. Austin Kocher. Specifically, you are being invited to take the National Immigration Lawyers Survey (NILS).

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS FORM?

This consent form describes the research study and helps you to decide if you want to participate.  It provides important information about what you will be asked to do in the study, about the risks and benefits of participating in the study, and about your rights as a research participant.  You should:

  • Read the information in this document carefully, and ask the research personnel any questions, particularly if you do not understand something.
  • Not agree to participate until all your questions have been answered, or until you are sure that you want to.
  • Understand that your participation in this study involves you participating in an online survey that will last about thirty minutes.
  • Understand that the potential risks of participating in this study are minimal.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY?

The purpose of this study is to explore the daily legal practices and perceptions of immigration attorneys. Special attention is given to perceptions of justice within the immigration system, as well as perceptions of other legal actors and clients. Put simply, this is a study of the ways immigration attorneys view their own work and the immigration system. To accomplish this, we anticipate surveying approximately 1000 immigration attorneys.

To participate in this online survey, you must be a barred US attorney who specializes in immigration law, your primary source of income must be from your work as an attorney, and you must spend at least 50% of your time on immigration cases.  You cannot currently represent the federal government in immigration matters.  You must be capable of conducting the survey in English and at least 18 years old.

WHAT DOES YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS STUDY INVOLVE?

If you choose to participate in this survey, you will be asked a bit about yourself as an immigration attorney, as well as your views and experiences in the U.S. immigration system and, if you have significant experience within these courts, the U.S. immigration courts.  We will begin with some basic demographical questions before moving onto some questions about your views and experiences.  We estimate that the survey will take about 30 minutes.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE RISKS OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS STUDY?

Participation in this study is expected to present minimal risk to you. The survey questions are designed to not place you at any more risk than everyday conversations. As with any study, you may still experience some risks related to your participation. These risks may include potential psychological distress related to questions; however, such distress is not expected to be greater than any work-related distress experienced in a normal day. Further, this survey is anonymous.  Data will be collected, coded, and presented in a way so as to ensure that individual participants will not be identifiable. As you answer the questions, we ask you to not provide any identifying or privileged information about yourself or your clients as well.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS STUDY?

Although you will not directly benefit from being in this study, participation offers a space to voice your opinions. Furthermore, as there has been little systematic study on immigration attorneys or their perceptions, your participation in this study is expected to contribute greatly to our general knowledge of lawyers and the immigration system, significantly expanding various fields, including Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law and Society, Legal Geography, and Justice Studies.

WILL YOU RECIEVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR PARTICPIATING IN THIS STUDY?

You will not be offered compensation for participating in this survey.

DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE PART IN THIS STUDY?

Taking part in this study is completely voluntary.  You may choose not to take part at all.  If you agree to participate, you may choose to decline to answer some of the questions in the survey.  If you decide not to participate, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits for which you would otherwise qualify.

CAN YOU WITHDRAW FROM THIS STUDY?

If you agree to participate in this study and you then change your mind, you may stop participating at any time. Any data collected as part of your participation will remain part of the study records.  If you decide to stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits for which you would otherwise qualify.

HOW WILL THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF YOUR RECORDS BE PROTECTED?

We plan to maintain the anonymity of all data and records associated with your participation in this survey.

Any communication via the internet poses minimal risk of a breach of confidentiality.  You will be taking the online survey using the program Qualtrics.  This program allows us to scrub any record of the IP address you use to access this survey.  Thus there will be no record of the technology you use to access the survey.

To further help protect the privacy of your information, we do not require you to share any personal information during the survey.  At the end of the survey, you will be asked if you care to be contacted for a follow-up confidential interview.  If you say yes, you will be given a separate space to share your preferred contact information.  If you choose to share said information, this information will never be attached or associated with your survey.  Only the research team will have access to such personal data during the study.  Any files including your personal information will be destroyed upon the completion of the study.

The results of this study may be used in reports, presentations, or publications.  We will present themes and patterns that arise from the data.  We may also present anonymous quotes from participants or paraphrase or summarize their thoughts.

WHOM TO CONTACT IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS STUDY:

If you have any questions pertaining to the research you can contact us to discuss them:

  • Dr. Katherine Abbott, University of New Hampshire, katherine.abbott@unh.edu
  • Dr. Maya Barak, University of Michigan-Dearborn, mbarak@umich.edu
  • Dr. Austin Kocher, University of Michigan-Dearborn, ackocher@gmail.com

If you have questions about your rights as a research subject you can contact Melissa McGee in the University of New Hampshire Research Integrity Services, 603/862-2005 or melissa.mcgee@unh.edu to discuss them. 

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