41 Know Your Rights! Pilot Program Massachusetts nonprofits that serve low-income women and their families now have somewhere to go when they want to learn about legal issues that impact their clients, and what resources are available to assist them. Know Your Rights!, launched in February 2012, brings together seasoned legal faculty with leaders of nonprofits for monthly classes on legal issues related to housing, family law, employment, education, and criminal law. Created with support from Mintz Levin by the Women’s Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts in conjunction with One Family, Inc., the program ran for nine months as a pilot project. After receiving a very enthusiastic response from nonprofit participants and the program’s faculty, it has been scheduled to continue, with a new session of classes planned for the fall of 2013. “The primary goal is to provide participants with the tools they need to serve their clients more effectively,” says Sue Finegan, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Pro Bono Committee. Sue and attorneys Jenni Mather McCarthy and Katy Ward, along with Project Analyst Devon Cain and former Mintz Levin Project Analyst Natalie Young, coordinated the firm’s support of the program. The program’s classes also serve as a forum for nonprofits to share knowledge about their organizations. Know Your Rights! nonprofit participants include the Boston CenterforIndependentLiving,CityLife/VidaUrbana,Compass Working Capital, Crittenton Women’s Union, FamilyAid Boston, HarborCOV, Heading Home, HomeStart, Horizons for Homeless Children, Housing Families, One Family, and Project Hope. Mintz Levin hosted the first Know Your Rights! graduation ceremony in Boston in November 2012. The program has recently been honored with a 2013 Public Service Award from the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations. “It is very exciting,” says Pattye Comfort, executive director of the Women’s Bar Association and Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts, “because this program can serve as a replicable model for other women’s bar associations around the country so that they can launch their own Know Your Rights! programs.” Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is an organization devoted to providing representation for unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone. Earlier this year, KIND referred “Isabella,” a 17-year-old victim of sex trafficking, to Mintz Levin for representation in deportation proceedings. Isabella endured a very difficult childhood, during which she was abandoned by one parent and severely abused and neglected by the other. In search of a better life for herself, Isabella accepted an offer from a stranger to live and work in the United States. Only 16 years old at the time, Isabella didn’t know that the person who offered to take her to the United States was affiliated with sex traffickers. Isabella suffered extreme and traumatic abuse by the traffickers before being abandoned in a desert on the US-Mexican border, where she was found by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Isabella is now thriving in the United States, where she lives with a nurturing foster family, enjoys school, and is working with attorney Alec Zadek and Project Analysts Kyle Crawford and Adrienne Darrow to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Mintz Levin also represented “Alejandro,” a 17 year old from El Salvador who came to the United States to reunite with his mother when he was 15. Alejandro was abandoned by his father at age 3, and his mother moved to the United States a few years later so that she could earn money to send home for Alejandro’s care. The boy was apprehended while crossing the border and the government initiated removal proceedings against him. He was referred to Mintz Levin through KIND in order to help him secure Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, which will allow him to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States. The firm provided representation in New York Family Court to help Alejandro’s mother obtain sole legal custody of him in the United States. That custody has been obtained, as has a special findings order that will allow Alejandro to petition to remain in the country lawfully and apply for a green card. Attorneys Jerry Gotkin and Todd Rosenbaum represented Alejandro, assisted by Project Analysts Lelia Ledain and Anthony Arias. Assistant Elaine Freire helped with translation and interpretation, and Richard Mintz Diversity Scholar Rachel Gholston contributed to research.