Foley Hoag LLP attorneys Clara Brillembourg
, John Marston
and Rebecca Gerome
have been recognized as Washington D.C. Pro Bono Team of the Year by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the preeminent U.S.-based nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children.
Each year, KIND honors attorneys who are providing vital pro bono legal services to refugee and immigrant children. According to KIND, these individuals "play a critical role in ensuring children receive the protections they deserve as they journey to the U.S. so they can live a life free of fear. We are thrilled to honor our 2021 volunteers and attorneys and thank them for their service to unaccompanied children."
In providing pro bono representation to its KIND client – an unaccompanied minor girl who fled domestic abuse and gang violence perpetrated by her father in Honduras – the Foley Hoag team assisted her in applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and asylum, and successfully helped her mother obtain sole custody over her in Virginia. As a result, she is now eligible to legally remain in the United States.
“The children who come to the U.S. and seek help from KIND have fled horrific conditions. Their stories are harrowing and extremely traumatic,” Gerome said. “Whether they are permitted to remain in the U.S. can often be a matter of life and death. By listening to their stories and learning about their struggles, we realize how incredibly brave and strong our clients are.”
Founded in 2008, KIND envisions a world in which every unaccompanied child on the move has access to legal counsel and has their rights and well-being protected as they migrate alone in search of safety. Through strategic partnerships, the organization provides pro bono legal representation for refugee and migrant children across the country. Since its inception, KIND has received referrals for more than 27,000 cases and serves over 5,900 children annually in partnership with nearly 700 law firm, corporate, law school and bar association partners.
Partner Brillembourg and associate Gerome are in Foley Hoag’s International Litigation & Arbitration practice; Marston is a partner in the firm's White Collar Crime & Government Investigations practice.