By Matt Stephen
Anam Rahman was instilled with the values of philanthropy, altruism, and empathy from a young age. Her father, an oncologist, imparted the importance of volunteer work in her and her siblings. Surrounded by a family of doctors, she learned about giving back and helping those in need. Inspired by her undergraduate career at The George Washington University (GWU), Anam ultimately opted for a career in law, but paying it forward remains a guiding principle for her work in immigration law.
Anam and her family immigrated to the United States from New Zealand when she was eight years old. Her family moved between Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh multiple times before she settled in the nation’s capital during college. Anam graduated from GWU Law School in 2012, and she was hired by Calderón Seguin PLC, a small firm in Fairfax, VA, in the same year. Calderón Seguin PLC specializes in immigration, criminal, and family law.
As a fluent Spanish speaker, Anam has been volunteering at D.C.-based immigration clinics like the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Immigration Legal Advice & Referral Clinic and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.’s Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project for years. “Finding the time to volunteer and do pro bono work reminds me of why I became an immigration attorney in the first place: to help people and families,” Anam said.
Pro Bono Center Managing Attorney Adrian Gottshall, who directs the Center’s Immigration Clinic, noted Anam’s commitment to pro bono service, “Two years ago, we had an unexpected volunteer cancelation prior to a scheduled clinic. We needed to quickly recruit an immigration expert to fill the mentor vacancy for the Saturday morning clinic. Another attorney recommended Anam. In response to our cold call invitation, she said ‘just tell me what time to be there.'”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Pro Bono Center shifted its operations, and its legal services, online. The Center hosted a week-long, remote Immigration Legal Advice & Referral Clinic for the first time in June and then again in September. Undeterred by the unprecedented circumstances, Anam was a volunteer at both clinics.
When asked what pro bono service means to her, Anam explains, “Volunteering is a constant reminder to be grateful for all the opportunities I have had in life, for the love of my parents and family, for the skills I have learned and the milestones I have been able to achieve, and the freedoms I enjoy. And I am grateful for the opportunity of pro bono that enriches my life, allows me to give back and truly make a difference in people’s lives.”
Matt Stephen is Communications Specialist for the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center.