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Graphic: SF Immigration Panel

2022 Summer Forum Preview: Immigration & Human Rights Panel

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Lawyers who practice Immigration & Human Rights law help clients navigate safety, security, and entry into a new land. Their work can be life-saving and is almost always life-altering. 

Join our panel on Immigration & Human Rights practice on Thursday, June 23, from 1:15-2:30 pm ET. Register here to get the link for this insightful discussion of the litigation, policy, and advocacy work in these important fields. 

Karen Grisez, Fried Frank

Karen Grisez is a member of the Litigation Department and is resident in Fried Frank’s Washington, DC office. She joined the Firm in 1990 and became Public Service Counsel in 1996. In her role as Public Service Counsel, Karen manages the intake and placement of pro bono matters, acts as liaison to national and local bar associations and legal services providers, and provides substantive advice and assistance to other attorneys who are working on pro bono cases. She has experience with issues of political asylum and other immigration matters, veterans’ benefits, family law, landlord/tenant law and general civil litigation. Karen was named to the 2020 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll with High Honors, which recognizes attorneys who contributed at least 100 hours of pro bono service in the calendar year. She has received this recognition annually since the inception of the award in 2011. Karen also received the Courageous Luminary Award from the National Immigrant Law Center in 2011, a Pro Bono Champion Award from the Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Harlingen, TX on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary Celebration in 2014, the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Washington, DC Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for her work as Chair of its Pro Bono Committee in 2015-16, and the Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for excellence in the practice of immigration law from AILA National in 2016.Karen chairs the Advisory Committee on Pro Se Litigation of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and is a member of the Board of the Washington Council of Lawyers, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, and the American Immigration Law Foundation.  She is also a trustee of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.  She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. She is a frequent speaker and panelist on asylum and other immigration-related topics.

Marcia Maack, Mayer Brown

Marcia Maack is the Director of Pro Bono Activities for Mayer Brown and is responsible for managing the firm’s pro bono program. Marcia acts as a liaison to the legal services and nonprofit community, develops and selects pro bono opportunities, and ensures a broad range of participation in the firm’s pro bono activities. She also assists and supervises the firm’s attorneys with their pro bono cases, and spearheads the firm’s pro bono partnerships with corporate clients. Marcia’s pro bono work is concentrated in the areas of international human rights, asylum, and refugee matters. In addition to numerous other projects, she developed and implemented the firm’s partnership with The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, an organization that helps Iraqi refugees whose lives are at risk because of their affiliation with the US Government’s military and reconstruction effort in Iraq. Mayer Brown was honored with a 2008 National Law Journal Pro Bono Award for its work with The List Project. Marcia is a member of the Committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and the Washington Council of Lawyers. From 2009 to 2015, she sat on the Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She also is a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel. Marcia has been a speaker at public interest and pro bono conferences in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru, in addition to the Pro Bono Institute annual conference and the ABA Equal Justice Conference. She is fluent in Portuguese and conversant in Spanish. Before becoming the Director of Pro Bono Activities, Marcia served as the firm’s Assistant Director of Pro Bono Activities, a position she held from 2005 to 2015. Prior to that, Marcia was a lawyer in Mayer Brown’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice.

Shaleen Morales, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

Shaleen Morales is the Universal Representation Staff Attorney in the Detention Program at Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network. Shaleen joined RMIAN in January 2019 as the Detained Representation Attorney Fellow through the Denver Immigrant Legal Defense Fund. She is a 2013 graduate of the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico and a 2017 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. While in law school, Shaleen worked as a student attorney representing migrant farm workers, survivors of domestic violence, and the elderly. Shaleen’s passion for serving indigent communities and advocating for social justice has been largely inspired by the oftentimes difficult but profound stories of past clients. Prior to joining RMIAN, Shaleen worked at the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center in St. Louis representing incarcerated individuals. Shaleen is admitted to practice in Missouri and is a native Spanish speaker. 

Austin Rose, CAIR Coalition

Austin Rose is an Equal Justice Works fellow with the CAIR Coalition Immigration Impact lab, carrying out a two-year project sponsored by the Arnold & Porter Foundation that brings together federal habeas litigation, pro bono coordination, and public advocacy to secure the release of individuals subject to prolonged detention in the DMV region. Austin graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University with a B.A in Government and cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a Public Interest Fellow and a student representative in the Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown’s asylum law clinic. He began his immigration legal career helping to represent immigrant youth in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases with the Esperanza Center in Baltimore, MD. Throughout college and law school, he interned with CAIR Coalition’s Detained Adult Program and Immigration Impact Lab, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Maryland Office of the Public Defender, CARECEN, Migration Policy Institute, and the Institute for Women in Migration. Austin also served as a long-time organizer with the volunteer collective Sanctuary DMV. He is fluent in Spanish and an avid soccer fan.

Adonia Simpson, ABA Commission on Immigration

Adonia Simpson is the Director of Policy and Pro Bono at the ABA Commission on Immigration (COI). She grew up overseas and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, followed by her Juris Doctorate from New England Law | Boston in 2009.  Adonia has substantial experience in both private practice and legal services.  She started her legal career as the Fellow for the Center for Law and Social Responsibility providing representation on Special Immigrant Juvenile cases at Greater Boston Legal Services.  During her Fellowship, she also participated in a trial observation in Colombia with the support of Rights and Democracy and Lawyers without Borders of Canada. Following her fellowship, Adonia worked in private practice providing representation on defensive immigration and criminal matters. She returned to nonprofit work as the Managing Attorney at Catholic Charities of Baltimore’s Immigration Legal Services at the Esperanza Center.  Prior to joining the COI team, Adonia spent five years developing and directing the Family Defense Program at Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miami, Florida. The program provided immigration education, screening, and representation to vulnerable immigrants throughout South Florida. Her on-the-ground experience provides valuable insights on policy issues and pro bono engagement.  

You will want to attend every single one of the 2022 Summer Forum breakout panels. A single Summer Forum registration gives you access to all five fabulous lineups of public-interest career and pro bono advice! 

Share your thoughts about our Summer Forum topics and panels using #SumFo22 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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