NYC PRO BONO CENTER VOLUNTEER FEATURE: Protecting the Rights of Immigrants
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
- The Legal Aid Society
The law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish LLP has developed a cadre of associates who now are experienced in immigration practice and have become in-house experts in the defense of detainees facing deportation. The specialized pro bono program was created under the leadership of Alan Levine, head of the New York office of Cooley Godward Kronish, for The Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Program.
"The pro bono assistance provided by the Kronish associates is invaluable because The Legal Aid Society is the only free legal services organization available for low-income immigrants in New York City who are detained and facing deportation because of criminal convictions," said Bryan Lonegan, a staff attorney in the Immigration Unit at Legal Aid. In a recent case, Associates Greg Plotko and Michael Klein were victorious on behalf of a 28-year-old mentally ill Russian refugee who had been sexually assaulted as a minor in Russia. Mike and Greg's extensive pre-trial submissions, including psychiatric evaluations, witness preparation, and sincere compassion for the client convinced the judge and the government's lawyer to grant her one more chance and to release her to her family.
Greg Plotko (left) and Michael Klein (right) discuss case strategy with Bryan Lonegan (center).