Bernard Bailes, 62, a retired lawyer with the Immigration Appeals Board in the Justice Department, died of cancer Thursday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

He had been with the board since coming here in 1948. He retired in 1973. He first joined the Justice Department in 1941, working with the immigration and Naturalization Service offices in Cincinnati.

Mr. Bailes was born in New Haven, Conn., and grew up in Scranton, Pa. He earned a law degree from St. John's University in New York City. He served with the Army infantry in World War II.

He had been a volunteer worker at the Greater Washington Hebrew Home was associated with a program to teach English as a foreign language and served as a court-appointed attorney for indigent defendants in Washington.

Mr. Bailes was a former president of the Wheaton Forest Civic Association and belonged to Temple Sinai in Washington.

He is survived by his wife, Natalie, of the home in Silver Spring; two sons, Daniel, of Washington, and Joel, of Newtown Square, Pa.; his mother, Molly Bailes, and two sisters, Sylvia Levy and Rose Solomon, all of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a brother, Seymour, of Morgantown, W. Va., and three grandchildren.