“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….” Such reads the inscription on the Statute of Liberty, the sight that many of the early immigrants of the United States first saw. Our country is a beautiful mixing bowl of different cultures, beliefs, and nationalities, 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 2023 Summer Forum Panel on Poverty Law on Thursday, June 22 from 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm ET. Register here to join the virtual conversation.
Andrea Mangones will moderate this panel. 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.
Our panel includes:
Karen Grisez, Fried Frank
Fried Frank 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.
Marcia Tavares Maack, Mayer Brown
Marcia is the Global Director of Pro Bono 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 major pro bono initiatives and partnerships with corporate clients. Under her leadership, the firm has twice been named to the National Law Journal’s Pro Bono Hot List and has received numerous other awards and accolades. 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 coordinates the asylum efforts of a coalition of more than twenty law firms and legal departments working on behalf of the almost 150 students from the Asian University for Women whom the firm helped to evacuate from Afghanistan in August 2020. Marcia is a member of the Committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice. She also served on the board of directors of the Washington Council of Lawyers and the Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. 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 Global Director of Pro Bono, 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.
Adonia Simpson, ABA Commission on Immigration
Adonia is the Director of Policy and Pro Bono at the ABA Commission on Immigration (COI). She 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, she 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 into policy issues and pro bono engagement. Adonia serves on various local and national immigration committees and working groups. Adonia frequently lectures, writes and gives interviews on immigration topics.
Deepa Bijpuria, Ayuda
Deepa is a Managing Attorney at Ayuda. Previously, she served as a Supervising Attorney at Tahirih Justice Center where she represented immigrant survivors of gender-based violence in both affirmative and defensive immigration cases for almost ten years. Deepa began her career at the Women’s Law Center of Maryland representing survivors of domestic violence; first, in protective order cases in Maryland Circuit Courts and then, as the Project Director of its immigration program. Deepa earned her law degree from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in social policy at Northwestern University.
Jessalyn Schwartz, Kids in Need of Defense
Jessalyn is a Senior Attorney at Kids in Need of Defense’s (KIND’s) DC office. Prior to joining KIND in 2019, Jessalyn worked in Boston as a court-appointed attorney for children and parents involved in child protection proceedings, students facing school offender and truancy petitions, and adults in mental health guardianship and commitment cases. Jessalyn serves on the Citizens Review Board for Children in Prince George’s County, MD, and is active in other professional organizations and advocacy roles pertaining to the welfare of youth and undocumented residents in Washington D.C. Jessalyn is a DC-area native and earned her JD from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and her BA from Pennsylvania State University.