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Volunteer Award Recipients

In 2009, the following individuals were recognized for their work to promote the human rights of immigrants and asylum seekers. The Advocates for Human Rights is grateful for their support and dedication.

Patrick Finnegan

Patrick Finnegan is one of The Advocates most steadfast volunteer interpreters, having been a volunteer with our program for five years. In addition to his volunteer work with The Advocates, Patrick carries out his passion for human rights daily in his work for the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. Patrick has provided French interpretation at numerous Asylum Interviews, one of the most challenging settings in which to interpret. Patrick has also interpreted for attorneys and clients during client meetings, and translated documents that are crucial to proving client’s asylum claims. Patrick has also interpreted for a Cameroonian woman during an International Women’s Day panel about women’s human rights in Africa. For his willingness to tackle any interpreting or translating assignment, and for doing them professionally, we recognize Patrick Finnegan.

Anne Lockner                        

Anne Lockner received a volunteer award for her tireless work advocating for her Ethiopian client. Anne initially worked on this client’s asylum claim as a summer associate at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi; she is now a partner at the firm. Over a nine year period, Anne fought for her client to be granted asylum from the Immigration Court, to the Board of Immigration Appeals to the Eighth Circuit and back down to the Immigration Court until finally, her client was approved. Anne’s tireless advocacy and push back against the immigration system resulted in her Ethiopian client receiving asylum. Ever the advocate, Anne continues to work with her client on travel document applications and permanent resident status.

Jeff Larson

Jeff Larson is a local immigration attorney who has been involved with The Advocates for more than ten years. Jeff has taken cases as a volunteer attorney, helped gather documents from overseas, and been a resource for The Advocates staff. We recognize Jeff’s many contributions, but particularly his willingness to serve as a consulting attorney to our many volunteer attorneys who lack experience in immigration and asylum law. Jeff is willing to be an on call advisor, answering questions and reviewing filings, in almost all of our Tibetan asylum cases. Jeff’s commitment to helping asylum seekers is demonstrated through his various volunteer roles over the years.