Honoring our Los Angeles Pro Bono Attorneys

October 4, 2021

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is proud to honor pro bono attorneys who are providing vital legal services to refugee and immigrant children. KIND’s pro bono attorneys are at the core of KIND’s mission and go above and beyond to help unaccompanied children. They play a critical role in ensuring children receive the protections they deserve as they journey to the U.S. so they can live a life free of fear.

KIND is thrilled to honor our 2021 attorneys and thank them for their service to unaccompanied children:

David Iden, O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Los Angeles KINDness Matters Awardee of the Year

The unaccompanied children I have had the honor to represent have been subjected to extreme violence and subjugation. Their perseverance and resolve is nothing short of inspirational, and I will forever admire and respect them for the strength and courage they have exhibited during their journeys.


John C. Lemacks II, Tafapolsky & Smith LLP

Los Angeles Pro Bono Advocate of the Year

I encourage all lawyers to engage in meaningful pro bono work at some point in their careers. In addition to giving back to your community and helping those underserved, it helps you become a better well-rounded lawyer. KIND’s program is a sterling example of a pro bono organization with a specific focus on Unaccompanied Minors. These are children who arrive in the United States after fleeing horrific and violent country conditions, unspeakable abuse, and/or abandonment in their home country. Once here, they are shuffled into federal removal proceedings (aka deportation) but are not entitled to court-appointed counsel. Representing these vulnerable kids who have colorable claims for legal relief and protection in the United States is one of the noblest causes a lawyer can undertake in their career. A win can literally change the trajectory of a child’s life – if not save it. And it’s always a great reminder of the good a law degree can do in this world.

Timothy Kolesk, Kahn Scolnick, Veronica Guerrero, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Los Angeles Pro Bono Team of the Year

A big part of what motivates us is to make sure these children and their families get every possible opportunity for a better and safer life. During one of these pre-pandemic meetings, our clients were accompanied by their six-month-old baby brother, who was born in the U.S.  While we all took turns holding the baby (as parents are inclined to do), we were given a very real-world example of the importance our work had in keeping this family together.