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MSBA Features The Advocates Volunteers in Report on Pro Bono Legal Service
8/16/2007 9:22 AM

The Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association featured the work of the Children's Asylum Project, a collaboration of The Advocates and the law firm of Faegre & Benson LLP in its 2007 report on pro bono activities of the Bar.  The Faegre & Benson team included The Advocates' board member John Mandler, along with Davina Sharik Carson, Alison McElroy, Kristen Gast, Quynh Sperrazza, Susan Schreiner, Sarah Kilibarda, and Guy-Uriel Charles. 

In a tremendous victory, the Faegre & Benson Children’s Asylum Team won Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for a young woman from Uganda.  The girl, orphaned in the United States when her mother died, was left without immigration status when her mother’s pending application for asylum was terminated.  Dianne Heins’ expertise in family and juvenile court matters quickly identified a possible solution to the technical posture of the case, in which a family member had sought guardianship pro se.  The family member was referred to pro bono counsel at Fredrikson & Bryon, P.A.  The team obtained a juvenile court order of guardianship, rather than the standard CHIPS order, to support a petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The creative work of the Faegre team resulted in a grant of lawful permanent resident status for this orphaned child.