With expert guidance from the staff at KIND, attorneys from many different specialties can use their skills to help unaccompanied children and their families. Despite being experienced lawyers, our team of Hogan Lovells and Boston Scientific lawyers have varied backgrounds in corporate, litigation, and regulatory law, but not immigration. From the start, KIND provided us with the support we needed to make smart decisions for each of our clients such as in-person and Zoom trainings, a web-based knowledge bank, and sample pleadings, and, critically, an amazing mentor attorney, Liz Ahmadi. Liz is consistently available to answer our questions, proof our documents, and generally help us strategize the best approaches for our clients. And when our clients’ needs extend beyond the legal world (as they sometimes do), Liz connects us with KIND’s Social Services Coordinators, who have deep experience navigating the financial, medical, housing, educational, and social difficulties that unaccompanied children often face.
With KIND’s support, our clients are on the pathway to lawful residency and safe, stable lives. Helping our clients weather the significant challenges they face in real time has been profoundly rewarding, and we hope hearing about our experiences encourages other attorneys to have a go at this essential work.
We spent many evenings and weekend afternoons with our clients, getting to know their families’ stories (often over pizza and coloring books). Setting meetings at times and places that work best for our clients, sharing meals together, and providing fidgets and other ways to lighten the mood helps to establish trust between us, which in turn leads to more open conversations and opportunities for effective advocacy. We feel privileged when our clients open up to us about their journey and entrust us with faithfully telling their story and representing them in their cases.