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October 2011 Volunteer Feature: Julia Milne of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Finds Success in Coming to the aid of an Abused Mother

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

  • Organization: The City Bar Justice Center
  • Source: New York

Ms. D married her husband in New York City in 2004 and had a child with him within a year. While their relationship had previously been fine, Ms. D’s husband began beating her the day they married, often accusing her of lying to him and calling her derogatory names. He would come home intoxicated and beat her in front of their young son. He refused to let her work, yet denied her access to family funds. He threatened to kill her if she left him, and to report her to immigration if she called the police.

Five years of violence, physical abuse, and verbal abuse culminated one night when Ms. D was so severely beaten that the police were called and Ms. D’s husband was arrested. Ms. D and her son moved into a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Because Ms. D assisted with the prosecution of her now ex-husband for domestic abuse, she became eligible for a U-Visa. Fearing that she would be deported, Ms. D turned to the City Bar Justice Center for help. The Justice Center’s Immigrant Women and Children Project assists survivors of violence, abuse, and human trafficking in legalizing their immigration statuses. The Immigrant Women and Children Project (IWC) placed Ms. D’s case with Julia Milne of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Julia began volunteering with IWC in the summer of 2010, making nearly a dozen devoted Paul Weiss attorneys currently volunteering with IWC. Julia helped Ms. D gain access to financial and personal independence by helping her file a petition for a U-visa. Julia achieved success for her client in a matter of months, obtaining for Ms. D not only a U-visa but a work permit as well. The victory allows Ms. D to support herself and her son, now 7 years old. Thanks to Julia, in three years Ms. D will be able to apply for her green card. Suzanne Tomatore, director of the Immigrant Women and Children Project, calls Julia very professional when working with her clients, devoted to doing great work and making her clients feel secure throughout the entirety of their immigration proceedings.

“Paul, Weiss and the City Bar Justice Center have worked together for years on behalf of clients like Ms. D and many others,” says Paul Weiss’ pro bono coordinator Rebecca Behr. “We are very proud of the pro bono work our attorneys do with the help of the City Bar Justice Center.”

Julia continues to work closely with IWC after her victory. She is currently assisting a young Ecuadorian woman, also the victim of domestic violence, with her visa application. The City Bar Justice Center and Immigrant Women and Children Project are tremendously proud and appreciative of Julia, and other volunteers like her, who continue to put their hearts into pro bono work.

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