2014 CLINIC Pro Bono Award
CLINIC is proud to recognize the hard work and dedication of those who support the BIA Pro Bono Project. In particular, we recognize the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan as the recipient of CLINIC’s 2014 Pro Bono Award.
In particular, we recognize Bryan Ward and Nkoyo Effiong from Sutherland’s Atlanta office, who represented a man from Cameroon who fled his country many years ago after facing persecution. This man started a family in the United States and is a core support to them. Mr. Ward and Ms. Effiong represented their client after the case was sent to the Atlanta Immigration Court by the Board of Immigration Appeals. In the span of a few short weeks, they obtained an expert affidavit, prepared their client, and briefed several cutting-edge legal issues. They proved that it remained dangerous for their client to return to Cameroon, that his family would suffer extreme hardship if he were deported, and that these positive factors outweighed any negative aspects of his case. The immigration judge granted what is known as a refugee waiver, but the government appealed.
Ultimately, Sutherland won the appeal, and the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed that their client merited a waiver. The client was released after spending two years in immigration detention and is now a permanent resident. This case exemplifies CLINIC’s dual mission of refugee protection and family unification.