Lindsay Maione, Zaara Bajwa Nazir and Jenifer Scarcella
Tell Us About Your Pro Bono Experience.
In April 2018, we successfully obtained a grant of asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158 for a Cameroonian national. The individual seeking asylum had been persecuted on account of his political beliefs, membership in the Southern Cameroons National Council, and membership in the Anglophone social group. Once he entered the US, he was detained for over six months in the Essex County Correctional Facility. After submission of extensive documentary support, we presented the case at a final hearing before the Immigration Court. The Immigration Court granted asylum, finding that the individual suffered past persecution and had a reasonable fear of future persecution.
How Did You Select an Organization to Support? What Would You Want Someone to Know About the Organization?
After serving on a panel with Judge Shira Scheindlin, Erica Kerstein learned about the American Immigration Lawyers Association and organized a partnership with White and Williams. We would want others who are thinking about becoming involving this organization to know that it is a very rewarding opportunity and a chance to make an impact on someone’s life.
Why is Pro Bono Service Important to You?
Pro bono service is important to us because we believe that everyone is entitled to legal representation. In many situations, including immigration proceedings, individuals without representation are at an extreme disadvantage as they may not understand the law or how to navigate the court system. Providing pro bono legal representation helps people get a fair outcome even if they are at an economic disadvantage.
What Value Does Pro Bono Service Provide You and Your Clients?
Pro bono service provides value to us and our clients because it allows us to further develop our legal skills by providing opportunities to do legal research, writing and make court appearances.
Why Should Other Lawyers Get Involved in Pro Bono Service?
Other lawyers should get involved in pro bono service because many people are in desperate need of legal services that they do not have the financial means to obtain. Getting involved in pro bono service allows the legal system to work for everyone, not just those who can afford it.
What Advice Do You Have For Lawyers Who Want To Get Involved In Pro Bono Service?
If you are providing pro bono services in an area of law that is not familiar to you, don’t be afraid to ask experienced practitioners in the field for advice. We found that other lawyers were extremely helpful and went out of their way to assist when they learned that our services were being provided on a pro bono basis.