VOLS and Simpson Thacher Offer a Legal Clinic to Assist Immigrant Youth
Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP co-hosted a legal clinic on June 13, 2016 to help immigrant youth apply or re-apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is a federal immigration policy that provides young immigrants who were brought to this county as children with temporary relief from deportation. The youth at the clinic qualified for the initial 2012 DACA program, which was not affected by the recent June 23rd Supreme Court immigration ruling. Any eligible students who have not yet signed up for DACA are still encouraged to apply.
Volunteer attorneys and summer associates from Simpson Thacher assisted ten students from New York City public high schools that participate in VOLS' Dream Not Deferred Project. The project identifies students who need legal assistance and recruits and trains pro bono lawyers to help such students resolve immigration issues before they graduate.
The clinic was supervised by Elizabeta Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director, and Harlene Katzman, Simpson Thacher's Pro Bono Counsel. Additional support was provided by Cecilia Cortés Vila, VOLS’ Immigration Project Coordinator, and Carola Beeney, Simpson Thacher's Pro Bono Specialist.
VOLS would like to thank Simpson Thacher and all the volunteers who made the clinic possible, and we look forward to more opportunities to assist youth in the future.
"VOLS and the volunteer attorneys were kind and really helpful. It would have been hard to apply for DACA all by myself without these free legal services. I’m really thankful for everyone involved, as I’m now one step closer towards being able to attend college or pursue work."
- Sophia*, Dream Not Deferred Client
"I’m proud to have helped Marisol* apply for DACA so that she can achieve her educational or professional dreams. It’s wonderful that VOLS and Simpson Thacher organized this clinic for her and other undocumented New York youth. The clinic was a really rewarding experience, and I enjoyed working with the VOLS staff and Simpson Thacher during the entire process. I look forward to more pro bono opportunities this summer to help other people in-need, especially opportunities involving VOLS."
- Jessica Bragg, Summer Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
"This DACA clinic was important and very much needed for these youth, and I’m glad to have participated and helped out. It was a great and rewarding experience, as I learned a lot about the immigration process and of the youth who I worked with and of their plans upon graduation. I wish these students all the best in their future aspirations."
- Cameron Pritchett, Summer Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
*client names have been changed to ensure their privacy