Press Release October 31, 2011

Goodwin Pro Bono Team Recognized by Lutheran Social Services for Representation of Teen Immigrants

Goodwin Procter attorneys received a 2011 Leadership Award from Lutheran Social Services (LSS) in recognition of outstanding leadership and dedication to the representation of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors, children under the age of 18 who have resettled alone in the United States, without a parent, relative or other responsible adult to care for them.

The Goodwin team, led by partners Doug Doskocil, Rob Carroll, Elaine Herrmann BlaisKevin Martin and Doug Kline, has been actively involved with LSS since 2009, assisting immigrant minors with obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) or asylum in the United States because of abuse, neglect or abandonment in their home countries. Successful SIJS applicants are allowed to remain in the U.S., work legally, qualify for in-state tuition at college, and, in five years, apply for U.S. citizenship.

The LSS children’s program is the only one in the New England states that assists refugee and migrating youth exclusively. The program is responsible for refugee, asylee and trafficked young people under age 18 who are in the U.S. with no parent or guardian. The program places the minors in foster care with specially trained families and provides cultural and language support.

The Goodwin Procter team provides legal services to minors in LSS-administered homes and has also expanded their docket to include work for minor children referred by Greater Boston Legal Services and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).