Human Rights First Celebrates National Pro Bono Week
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today marks National Pro Bono Week, a global celebration of professional services for the public good, by honoring the crucial work of pro bono attorneys who offer their time and expertise to represent refugees seeking asylum. National Pro Bono Week takes place from October 25 through October 31.
“Legal representation for those fleeing violence, discrimination, and persecution can sometimes mean the difference between life and death,” said Human Rights First’s Hardy Vieux. “As we mark National Pro Bono Week, we celebrate and are grateful for the hundreds of attorneys around the country who work with us to help refugees find safety in the United States. Their commitment to pro bono service speaks to their core values and that of the American legal profession.”
Working with Human Rights First’s refugee representation program, attorneys from firms across the nation donate almost 80,000 hours of their time annually — a donation the equivalent of about $40 million in legal fees — to help asylum clients. Pro bono attorneys also provide invaluable support to Human Rights First in other ways, including preparing amicus curiae briefs in cases involving important issues of international human rights law.
Through the Human Rights First’s refugee representation program, volunteer lawyers have the unique opportunity to change the lives of refugees by helping them win asylum in the United States. The organization matches asylum-seekers who need help with lawyers who can represent them on a pro bono basis. Human Rights First provides mentoring, training, and guidance throughout the representation to ensure that the pro bono lawyers get the support they need to provide the highest quality legal representation to clients seeking asylum.