Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13062747 (posted Jun. 27, 2013)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 27, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will award Perkins Coie LLP with the 2013 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field. Representatives from the firm will accept the award today during AILA's Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Giving back to the community is part of the culture across all 19 Perkins Coie offices. The firm's lawyers and staff are committed to giving of their time and talents to help those most in need. In 2012 alone, Perkins Coie attorneys dedicated more than 46,000 pro bono hours, representing more than 3% of their total billable hours for the year.
Perkins Coie's commitment to pro bono service runs deep. Key to ensuring the program is a success, the firm has a Pro Bono Counsel managing the program across the firm and a firm-wide Pro Bono Committee to support the initiative. Additionally, they have a generous policy through which associates receive full billable hour credit for the work they do on pro bono matters. Two successes out of California highlight the firm's pro bono work:
In a matter referred through the Canal Alliance and the Marin Center for Independent Living, the San Francisco office of Perkins Coie won an asylum case and helped save a client from potential future persecution or even death. After witnessing election irregularities during the 2006 presidential election in Mexico, the client was viciously attacked by police officers. He survived the attack but was left confined to a wheelchair and left Mexico. After more than a year of hard legal work, the client was awarded Asylum.
In another case, a client was a victim of forced labor and involuntary servitude through the use of fraud and coercion, forced to work as a domestic worker in the U.S. while earning less than one-third of the salary she had been promised. She was repeatedly threatened that she would be arrested, jailed and deported if she ever left the house. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking referred the client to the Perkins Coie Los Angeles office. The firm successfully obtained a T visa and a work permit, which allowed the client to obtain steady, long-term work through a reputable agency.
Founded in 1912, Perkins Coie has more than 900 lawyers in offices across the United States and Asia. They provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation and intellectual property legal services to a broad range of clients from FORTUNE 50 corporations to small, independent start-ups, as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.