AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter

Pro Bono Newsletter, Summer 2012

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Spotlight u Sharma Named 2011 Juceam Pro Bono Advocate s office to gain U visa I Stone & Grzegorek LLP Los Angeles, California Madhu Sharma Juceam Pro Bono Advocate. Named in honor of Robert Juceam, who was awarded American Lawyer's 2010 Lifetime Achiever for his "extraordinary commitment to meet the legal needs of the less fortunate in dire circumstances," the Juceam Pro Bono Advocate recognizes standout attorneys who are contributing free legal services to the immigrant community. mmigration law firm Stone & Grzegorek LLP has named Madhu Sharma as the law firm's 2011 Ms. Sharma logged more than 800 hours of pro bono service in 2011. In her most notable success last year, Ms. Sharma partnered with attorneys at the ACLU and the Federal Public Defender' certification from a federal district court judge for 12 victims of a smuggling ring who were held captive and subjected to extreme acts of violence in a drop-house in Riverside, CA. The federal district court judge certified victims for the crime of being held hostage, a┼┐ter the legal team filed what may be a first-of- its-kind motion in a criminal case in the Central District of California. Ms. Sharma coordinated and undertook representation for the victims to obtain U visas. Her work, in partnership with the ACLU, created a model that the Federal Public Defenders will be able to replicate in their many similar cases in the Central District. Ms. Sharma also represented many migrant and trafficked children in gaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum in the United States. As a co-pro bono liaison for Southern California's AILA chapter, she serves as the coordinator of AILA's Pro Bono Network, offering counsel to unrepresented indigent people before the Los Angeles Immigration Court. Ms. Sharma joined Stone & Grzegorek LLP in October of 2007. She is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. Thank You from AILA MAP Task Force Chair, Matthew Maiona I volunteers, Michelle Singleton and, of course, the always accommodating Margaret Stock for taking this program to a new level this past year. AILA MAP would not exist without you would like to thank the screeners, all. We have had many successes and all of the volunteers should be proud of what they have accomplished. From coast to coast I have received emails of cases granted, issues resolved and military families kept together. All of this results in peace of mind for our men and women in uniform as they defend our country day in and day out. I encourage all MAP volunteers who have taken cases this past year to please do so again this year and to those who have not, please take a case and help those who give so much to us and our families. I look forward to working with all of you again this year and I know together we will help even more military families and continue to make AILA MAP even better. Thank you! LEARN HOW YOU CAN VOLUNTEER! www.aila.org 2

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