Vance Center Expands Immigration Work with Law Firms

April 2020

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Keep Families Together, the Vance Center’s initiative to provide U.S. immigration lawyers with co-counsel in their clients’ home countries, now has collaborated with 14 law firms, as well as 18 immigration legal services providers. Since September 2018, 115 families from ten countries so far have benefited from the innovative, cross-border program.

In one recent case, the Vance Center worked with Fundación Pro Bono Guatemala to connect a team of lawyers at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett representing an LGBT asylum seeker with QIL+4 Abogados.The transnational team recently succeeded in securing legal status for the client.

The Vance Center works regularly with 33 international law firms represented on the Vance Center Committee, as well as more than 150 other firms around the world, focusing on international human rights, environmental and good governance matters for civil society clients. In Latin America, it coordinates closely with other members of the Pro Bono Network of the Americas in these projects. When the Trump Administration launched its “zero tolerance” policy separating children from their families, this collaboration enabled the Vance Center to respond with Keep Families Together, with Network members assisting to find pro bono counsel to assist U.S. immigration lawyers and their clients.

As Keep Families Together has grown, the pro bono programs of more and more U.S. law firms have taken advantage of the opportunity to co-counsel with lawyers in their clients’ home countries. These firms now include:

Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Debevoise & Plimpton
Fried Frank Shriver Harris & Jacobson
Kirkland & Ellis
Mayer Brown
Morrison & Foerster
Ropes & Gray
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Shearman & Sterling
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison
Proskauer Rose
Williams & Connolly