AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter

Pro Bono Newsletter, Winter 2011

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Spotlight u Stone & Grzegorek LLP, an immigration law firm in Los Angeles, has named attorney Clara Moon as its Juceam Pro Bono Advocate, commending Clara’s pro bono work. Te firm inaugurated the Juceam Pro Bono Advocate award in order to recognize standout attorneys who are contributing free legal services to the immigrant community. Clara Moon Juceam Pro Bono Advocate Stone & Grzegorek LLP Clara completed more than 600 hours of legal services on various pro bono matters at the law firm in 2009 and 2010, thereby also earning recognition from AILA as a Pro Bono Champion. Among the many pro bono matters handled by Clara, in collaboration with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.—Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Clara worked on seven Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases involving minors from Central America in removal proceedings before the immigration judge. All seven of the minors have obtained legal permanent resident status. Clara’s pro bono successes in 2010 included a case involving an elderly gentleman from Mexico whom she helped become a U.S. citizen despite facts in the case that USCIS may have deemed inconsistent with good moral character; and a case involving a young woman from Zambia who was the victim of the deadly 2008 Metrolink crash in Los Angeles. With Clara’s guidance the woman was able to remain in the United States to receive medical care for her serious bodily injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Te client was referred to the law firm by Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles. Clara is working on a joint asylum case involving two young brothers who fled from their native country of El Salvador for fear of death at the hands of gang members who killed their brother. Clara works a full load of family-based and employment/investment-based cases for Stone & Grzegorek LLP. Increasing Access to Representation in Immigration Court By Laurel Herndon I n August 2010 the Colorado AILA Pro-Bono Committee renamed itself the “Access To Services Committee” and undertook the challenge of increasing the percentage of non- detained respondents represented by AILA attorneys in the Denver Immigration Court. Te committee began by surveying all AILA chapters on the following questions: 1. Do you have statistics on the percentage of respondents who are represented in removal proceedings in your jurisdiction? (detained vs. non-detained, if available) 2. Do BIA accredited organizations, designated on the list provided to respondents by the immigration judges, provide a referral list if representation is not offered? 3. If provided, how is such a list generated? Te responses we received from AILA chapter chairs indicated that few, if any, chapters had better statistics or solutions than Colorado. As in many jurisdictions, indigent immigrant respondents receive excellent pro bono and nominal-fee representation through the BIA-accredited Catholic Immigration Services/Catholic Charities. Colorado also has a Legal Orientation Program at the detention center, through Rocky Mountain Immigration Advocacy CONTINUED on pg. 3 >> For further guidance, see Representing Clients in Immigration Court, 2nd Ed. ($119 member price) BUY www.aila.org 2

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