ECO Panel Attorney Program Guidance

The ECO Panel Attorney Program Guidance describes in detail the program’s eligibility requirements, the scope of the work, the panel structure, reporting requirements, compensation rules and other relevant information.

What is ECO?

Equity Corps of Oregon is a universal representation program based on the core belief that every eligible Oregonian should be able to defend against an unjust or unfair deportation or defeat a civic exclusion on account of immigration status. Panel attorneys will be engaged to provide immigration services for those experiencing a civic exclusion or threat of deportation on account of immigration status.

Who is eligible for ECO?

An Oregon resident who otherwise would be unrepresented and whose household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines and is either at risk of removal or suffering a civic exclusion on account of their immigration status.

What services does ECO provide?

ECO provides access to legal services, limited assistance with filing fees and ancillary costs, interpretation, and limited support through community-based navigation.

How do I become an ECO Panel Attorney?

You can use the online application and registration form at equitycorps.org/panel_attorney. Alternatively, you can email clearinghouse@equitycorps.org with your resume and a short statement explaining your eligibility to be a panel attorney.

What kind of cases can I expect will be referred to me?

For the Court program, cases will be referred for individuals that are before the Immigration Court. For the Affirmative program, matters are referred for affirmative benefits applications, discrete components of a matter or other types of work outside of immigration court.

What are the reasons I can use to decline a referral?

Generally, you should only decline a Court referral if you lack the capacity or there is a conflict of interest. ECO is a universal representation program which means all individuals are entitled to Court representation.

Can I decline a case if I don’t think the judge will grant it?

No. ECO is a universal representation program which means all individuals are entitled to representation. A panel attorney should decline a Court referral only if there is a conflict or a lack of capacity.

What should I do if I identify additional or different relief available to my client outside the scope of the affirmative referral?

Panel attorneys are the attorney in the matter and the affirmative scope does not limit any duties the attorney may owe to their client. The engagement letter between ECO and the panel attorney relates only to compensation. If the client is indigent and remains otherwise eligible for ECO, the attorney may seek an additional engagement letter, an extension of the existing engagement letter, or a modification of the existing engagement letter by emailing clearinghouse@equitycorps.org with an explanation describing the request.

Who is the lawyer in the matter?

The panel attorney is the lawyer for the matter. ECO is a universal representation program. Innovation Law Lab acts as a Clearinghouse for the ECO program and, in this function, it does not provide, and has not, provided legal services in the matters referred. The referral information is based on our review of the records the individual has shared with us. Suggested guidance should not be taken as definitive and all information should be verified independently by the provider.

For more detailed information see the FAQ on page 8 of this document.