Kirkland & Ellis LLP has received the Safe Haven Pro Bono Award from Immigration Equality, a national organization that works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law. The awards recognize law firms that have gone above and beyond to win safe refuge for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV positive asylum seekers. Kirkland was one of four firms selected for the award out of more than 40 law firms that participate in Immigration Equality's Pro Bono Asylum Program.
"Kirkland & Ellis stood out for the high volume of cases it took on — and started winning! — in its very first year in Immigration Equality's pro bono program, for hosting two trainings, and for encouraging many stakeholders to participate in the cases," said Rachel B. Tiven, the Executive Director of Immigration Equality.
Kirkland formalized the Kirkland & Ellis LGBT Asylum Project as a Firmwide program in partnership with Immigration Equality in 2009. The formalization of the program allowed for greater coordination of experience and resources, and allowed the Firm to take on more cases and expand the program to its other offices. In 2009, Kirkland worked on seven different Immigration Equality cases; four were resolved successfully and three remain in process. Attorney and staff time, together with expenses, dedicated to the LGBT Asylum Project totaled more than $750,000 in 2009 alone.
Kirkland's LGBT Asylum Project joins another long-running project at Kirkland — handling Violence Against Women Act cases and related petitions. The Firm has committed great resources to working with immigrants seeking a "safe haven" for themselves and their families. The overlap in experience on immigration related issues between the programs has benefited them both.
About Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,500-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex corporate and tax, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.
About Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a national organization that works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, to reduce the negative impact of that law on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive people, and to help obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status. Through education, outreach, advocacy, and the maintenance of a nationwide network of resources, we provide information and support to advocates, attorneys, politicians and those who are threatened by persecution or the discriminatory impact of the law.