LOS ANGELES — Most of the nearly 60,000 Central American children who have arrived on the U.S.-Mexico border in the last year still don’t have lawyers to represent them in immigration court, and advocates are scrambling to train volunteer attorneys to help cope with the massive caseload.

With the number of unaccompanied immigrant children more than doubling this past fiscal year, the need for attorneys has surged, and it has been exacerbated by the immigration courts’ decision to fast-track children’s cases, holding initial hearings within a few weeks instead of months.

Immigrants can have counsel in immigration courts, but lawyers are not guaranteed or provided at government expense. Having an attorney can make a big difference: While almost half of children with attorneys were allowed to remain in the country, only 10 percent of those without representation were allowed to stay, according to an analysis of cases through June by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Efforts are underway to train attorneys at private law firms on the country’s byzantine immigration laws and how to work with traumatized, Spanish-speaking children, many of whom are fleeing violence.

“We’re doing pretty well on finding willing lawyers ” said Reid Trautz, director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s practice and professionalism center. “It just takes time.”