Boston – Several Goodwin Procter attorneys recently won political asylum for a pro bono client, a political refugee from the Republic of Cameroon. The team worked with the client for over nine months, gathering crucial documentation of the client’s political persecution, drafting the client’s statement summarizing his persecution and preparing and representing the client during an interview before an asylum officer of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Our client fled Cameroon for the United States after police forced him at gunpoint to suffer public humiliation, imprisoned him and brutally beat him. He suffered this persecution as a result of his peaceful work to promote and defend the rights of English-speaking citizens of Cameroon.
When the client arrived in Boston, the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project matched the client with the Goodwin Procter team. The PAIR Project is committed to providing legal services to secure the safety and freedom of asylum seekers and to promote the rights of immigration detainees. This is accomplished, in part, through the Pro Bono Asylum Program of which Goodwin Procter has been a long time partner.
This pro bono case allowed young associates at the firm to manage their first case on their own. The team worked directly with the client, often meeting on a weekly basis. Through these meetings, the associates were able to develop important interview skills as they pieced together a long and complicated story that the client conveyed. They also gained invaluable client-management skills in the process, including the importance of keeping a client informed of the status of the case, managing the client’s expectations regarding the possible outcomes, and other skills that will assist them in preparing other clients to testify at depositions, trials and before government agencies.