Honoring our New York 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 volunteers and attorneys and thank them for their service to unaccompanied children:

Rene Kathawala, Orrick LLP

New York KINDness Matters Awardee of the Year

The most satisfying part of representing immigrants is the hope you provide them by advocating for them in our legal system. Our clients have in many instances been waiting years to gain the immigration relief they are entitled to and can easily lose hope given how inhumane the system is. When you can finally deliver to them the life-changing news that they will have the full protection of the U.S. laws behind them, there is no greater feeling.


Craig Convissar, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

New York Pro Bono Advocate of the Year

Pro bono asylum work has been one of the highlights of my career as a practicing attorney because it has allowed me to experience the human side of the law in a real and powerful way. It represents both the highest ideals of our country – the freedom to pursue life and liberty, no matter who you are or where you are from – and the highest possible use of one’s legal skills. Given the uncertain state of the world and the struggles that so many people continue to face across the globe, pro bono asylum work is especially salient at this moment.

Christopher Jánszky and John Santacruz, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

New York Pro Bono Team of the Year

Dedicated representation for unaccompanied children seeking asylum is critical. This is a constantly developing, complicated, and sometimes fraught area of the law where the outcome of a case could alter the course of a young immigrant’s life. We encourage other attorneys to get involved not only because of the opportunities for professional growth, but because of the tremendous impact our work can have on those fleeing persecution.