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Team of New York Attorneys Receive 2022 Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award for Honduran Asylum Case

NEW YORK – Mintz is proud to announce that a team based in its New York office will receive the 2022 Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award, which is presented annually on behalf of the firm by Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee to attorneys who demonstrate exemplary commitment to pro bono work.

The Pro Bono Committee selected the team for its representation of a Honduran family in an asylum case. Led by Associate Amanda Asaro, the team’s pre-hearing written filings were so compelling that they were able to secure a relatively rare stipulation from the government to grant asylum for an entire family of Honduran refugees, obviating the need for an evidentiary hearing.

The client is an accomplished Honduran civil servant who faced numerous threats of violence in her home country. She and her family arrived in the US in 2019 and, over the last three years, the New York team helped the family apply for asylum, obtain work authorizations and psychological health services, navigate the school application process, and more. The team dedicated a significant amount of hours and resources to secure this result.

Member David Siegal; Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Narges Kakalia; Associates Kaitlyn Crowe, Nicole Henry, and Kerime Akoglu; Law Clerk Taylor Carman; Legal Assistants Sylvia Belardo and Doris Lopez; Project Analysts Milan Sani, Robyn Stewart, Joe Ort and Nell Shea; and Paralegal Keri Judd formed the team on this matter.

Susan Finegan, Chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee said, “The Pro Bono Committee was so impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of the New York asylum team in representing this deserving family over the past three years.  Because of the team’s extensive preparation, the clients’ dream of a favorable ruling was realized.”   

Meanwhile, the Mintz Pro Bono Special Recognition Award goes to a team for its large scale pro bono representation of refugees caught in the dire humanitarian emergency in Afghanistan after country’s fall to the Taliban.

The Mintz team, led by Member and Immigration Chair, John Quill, Immigration Practice Manager Danielle Lifrieri, and Project Analyst David Friedman worked closely with entities such as Senator Ed Markey's office and American Immigration Lawyers Association New England, among others. They assembled a robust pro bono response to unprecedented immigration challenges:  more than 110 Mintz attorneys and staff throughout the firm have volunteered in the firm's Afghanistan Refugee Project to help dozens of families apply for immigration assistance.

“The Pro Bono Committee wishes to thank the attorneys and staff throughout the firm who assisted refugees from Afghanistan in filing for immigration relief.  Special thanks go to John, Danielle, and David for overseeing this extraordinary effort throughout the past year,” Ms. Finegan said.

The firm’s annual Pro Bono Awards will be held today at all offices of the firm. Pro bono service is at the heart of Mintz’s culture and identity. The firm partners with nonprofits, legal services organizations, in-house legal departments, and other law firms to provide life-changing assistance for individuals in need. In the past year, more than 400 Mintz attorneys contributed to over 300 unique pro bono matters. To learn more about the firm’s pro bono work, please click here.

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