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2024 Summer Forum Preview: Immigration & Human Rights Panel

Our country has long been a place where different cultures, beliefs, and nationalities come together thanks in large part to centuries of immigrants coming to the United States hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families. That dream of a better life still rings true in the hearts of those seeking to immigrate here today. However, for those new to the United States, navigating a foreign legal system can be a treacherous undertaking. That’s where immigration lawyers become essential. This panel will give you insight into what the field of immigration law looks like today and opportunities in which you can provide assistance.

Learn more about the wide-ranging legal issues immigrants face and what pro bono opportunities are available in D.C. and across the country to help address these needs at our 2024 Summer Forum Panel on Immigration and Human Rights Panel on Thursday, June 27 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm ET. 

Karen Grisez will moderate this panel, Karen  serves as Public Service Counsel at Fried Frank, where she 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. She has dedicated her career to pro bono service, earning High Honors with the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll for nine consecutive years as well as numerous other awards and accolades that demonstrate her commitment and leadership to defending the rights and the humanity of others.

Our panel includes:

Andrea Mangones, Kids in Need of Defense

Andrea is the  Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). Previously,  Andrea spent six years as a Litigation and Trial Associate at Latham & Watkins, LLP where she maintained an active pro bono immigration practice representing detained and non-detained clients in affirmative applications and petitions, removal proceedings, and appeals before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigration Courts, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. While at Latham, Andrea served as Pro Bono Liaison to the Tahirih Justice Center where she was a full-time volunteer Immigration and Public Policy Attorney from 2009-2010. Andrea received her J.D., summa cum laude from American University’s Washington College of Law and her master’s degree in International Policy from the School of International Service in 2009. In law school, Andrea worked as a Research Associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group and interned with Women for Women International. Prior to law school, Andrea worked at the District of Columbia’s Office of Administrative Hearings. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Duke University.

Kendra Blandon, Amica Center’s Immigration Impact Lab

Kendra is a first-year staff attorney with the Amica Center’s Immigration Impact Lab. Formerly known as CAIR Coalition, the Amica Center represents and advocates for adults and children subject to immigration detention nationwide. Kendra represents migrants in habeas corpus and bond proceedings. She litigates before the Board of Immigration Appeals, federal district courts, and the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals to defend and expand immigrant rights. 

Emily McCabe, American Bar Association, Commission on Immigration

Emily (she/her/ella) is Pro Bono Counsel at the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration (COI). At COI, Emily focuses on resource development, technical assistance, and capacity building for immigration practitioners. She also manages COI’s pro se legal clinics and supports organizations looking to adapt COI’s pro se clinic models. Prior to being at COI, Emily worked for five years as an immigration attorney at a non-profit in Northern Virginia, representing mostly unaccompanied minors, asylum-seekers, and survivors of trafficking and criminal activity. Emily is licensed to practice law in Virginia.

Shanti Martin Brown, Ayuda

Shanti is a Supervising Attorney at Ayuda in Washington, DC, where she represents immigrants in both affirmative immigration applications and deportation defense with a focus on immigrant victims of crime and trafficking, including preparation and filing of cutting-edge U Visa and T Visa applications. She also represents immigrants seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum, relief under VAWA, family petitions, and naturalizations. Before joining Ayuda in 2014, Shanti represented unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings for over four years. Shanti graduated from American University Washington College of Law in May 2009. Shanti holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she studied Spanish and Justice, Peace & Conflict Studies.

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