Press Release January 06, 2015

Goodwin Provides Citizenship Assistance in Legal Clinics

Goodwin Procter’s Silicon Valley office hosted a legal clinic for a group of more than twenty students eligible for a special immigration status known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA was established on June 15, 2012, when President Obama issued an executive order for deferred action for certain undocumented youth who came to the U.S. as children, and meet specific educational and other requirements. Young people who have been granted DACA status are able to work legally, and are able to apply for driver’s licenses and social security cards.

To administer this clinic, a team led by Goodwin partner Grant Fondo, partnered with Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA), and provided a 90 minute training session for Goodwin attorneys in the Silicon Valley office. During this training session, the high school and college students, many from Canada College, arrived and received a tour of the office from Goodwin volunteers. The newly trained attorneys then helped these clients complete the paperwork necessary for deferred action status under immigrations laws.

The clinic received rave reviews from both CLSEPA’s liaison, Joyce Song, who noted that this was “one of our most successful DACA clinics ever,” as well as students and Goodwin’s attorneys and staff.

In addition to the DACA clinic, the firm has continued to host successful naturalization clinics in and around the firm’s Boston office. Last fall, the firm hosted several legal clinics to assist lawful permanent residents in completing their applications for naturalization. For clients who have fled oppressive circumstances in their nation of origin, obtaining U.S. citizenship provides a unique and invaluable measure of security and peace-of-mind. The firm’s partner in this work, the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative, assists in pre-screening clients and well as providing invaluable on-site support for attorneys at the legal clinics. Goodwin’s work with the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative was recognized at the City of Boston’s We Are Boston gala in December, where Chairman Emeritus Regina Pisa accepted the Community Champion award on behalf of the firm.

For more information about Goodwin’s pro bono work, please contact Carolyn Rosenthal or Julia Holczer.