Areas of Practice
- Michigan, 1998
Boston University, J.D., cum laude
University of Michigan, B.A.
Ms. Naasko is Dykema's National Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel. In addition to administering the program and mentoring lawyers in various areas of public interest law, she maintains a substantive poverty law practice. Her case load includes representation of unaccompanied immigrant children who are child victims of human trafficking and have either been victims of crime in their country of origin or in the United States. She also represents domestic violence survivors in divorce, child custody, immigration matters, and personal protection orders.
In her role as Pro Bono Counsel, she leverages the Firm's resources to satisfy the unmet legal needs of the community. In 2008, Michigan-based legal service providers identified a burgeoning crisis of unrepresented and abused or neglected immigrant children. This was because when only a handful of lawyers were skilled to represent these children and none of the children had the resources to hire an attorney. Dykema, under Ms. Naasko's direction, was the first large law firm to volunteer attorneys and coordinate training, and she then called upon other members of the legal community to respond to this unmet need. As a result, in 2010, there are more attorneys ready to accept these cases than there are children needing counsel in Michigan.
In 2009, Ms. Naasko developed, designed and directs the Dykema Free Legal Aid Clinic. Hosted at the Ferndale High School and open to parents and students of the High and Middle schools, the clinic is geared to respond to the unmet legal needs that may impede a student's success. It is the first of its kind in Michigan to be run exclusively by a private law firm.
Ms. Naasko also works closely with Dykema's business clients to create pro bono partnerships with a focus on identifying relevant, succinct and high-profile opportunities. Most recently, as the national economy plummeted, she conceptualized a Crisis Clinic for Detroit-Based Nonprofits, where private attorneys meet with nonprofits to respond or resolve their crises. This initiative was later implemented into a partnership between Dykema, Community Legal Resources and Ford Motor Company Office of the General Counsel. In 2007, the GM Legal Department and Dykema lawyers performed legal audits for fledgling nonprofits in Detroit. Later in 2008, Ms. Naasko launched a second partnership between Dykema, GM, Children's Hospital of Michigan and Legal Aid and Defender Association to provide child patients and their families legal assistance in the areas of landlord/tenant and appeals for Supplemental Social Security Income.
In 2010, the Chief Executive Officer of Dykema appointed Ms. Naasko as Diversity Counsel to the Diversity Committee. In this role, she has been tasked to assist in the implementation of the overall diversity initiatives of the Firm, which include wide-ranging activities from recruiting, retention, mentoring and business development for diverse attorneys of the Firm.
From 1998 until 2002, Ms. Naasko was an associate with the Firm's Corporate Bankruptcy Group.
Prior to returning to Dykema, Ms. Naasko was a staff attorney at the Women's Survival Center of Oakland County, where she ran a pro se divorce clinic and represented domestic violence survivors in family law matters.
- People v. Davontae Sanford, Wayne County Circuit Court, 2008 murder convictions of teenager overturned in 2016 by Dykema Pro Bono Team based on innocence
Seminars & Speeches
- Justice for Victims of Trafficking: A Case Study, Presented at the 11th Annual Crime Victims Law Conference, National Crime Victim Law Institute, Portland, ORJune 2012
- Transforming Your Pro Bono Program Back to Basics, Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.March 2012
- Nurturing Pro Bono, State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Initiative 3rd Annual Spring Pro Bono WorkshopMay 25, 2011
- Proactive Pro Bono: Structuring and Selecting Pro Bono Work, 2011 Pro Bono Institute Annual Seminar (Co-facilitator)March 2011
- Litigating an International Kidnapping Case, Michigan Poverty Law Program Family Law RoadshowOctober 2010
- Pro Bono in Practice—Human Rights and Human Trafficking, 2010 Pro Bono Institute Annual Seminar (Facilitator)March 2010
- Peer to Peer: Pro Bono Counsel/Special Counsel, 2010 Pro Bono Institute Annual Seminar (Facilitator)March 2010
- Bridging the Gap: Creating Zones of Comfort and Experience for Volunteers, 2008 Equal Justice Conference2008
- February 25, 2016Law360http://www.dykema.com/news-item-naasko-authors-article-for-law360_030316.html
- "Pro Bono Could Be Collateral Damage of Senate's Rejection of DOJ Civil Rights Nominee", (Co-Author)March 19, 2014Law360
- "Has your client been SLAPP-ed?"October 2008Michigan Family Law Journal
- "Does State Law Create Personal Liability for a Troubled Company's Unpaid Wages?"April/May 2001Detroit Lawyer
- February 22, 2017
- November 2, 2016
- July 18, 2016
- March 3, 2016
- Recipients of Washtenaw County Bar Association 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service AwardMarch 3, 2014
- March 16, 2012
- "Ford, Dykema, and CLR Team Up"October 25, 2011he PBEye: Pro Bono As We See It
- December 2011
- February 2011
- 8-0 Decision clears the way for disabled children to seek justice in their educational systemsFebruary 22, 2017
- November 2, 2016
- Dykema Pro Bono Client Released Today; Wayne County Prosecutor Will Not Retry; In 2008, Professional Hit Man Confessed to CrimesJune 7, 2016
- Dykema Teams Up with Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund to Bring “Name Change Project” to MichiganDykema and TLDEF to Host Training for Michigan Attorneys Looking to VolunteerSeptember 16, 2015
- August 21, 2014
- Recipients of Washtenaw County Bar Association 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award; Recognizes Long-Standing Service to Community and to Those in Need of Legal AssistanceMarch 3, 2014
Memberships & Involvement
- Member, Public Interest Externship Committee, Wayne State University Law School, 2015
- Member, Board of Directors, Association of Pro Bono Counsel, 2015
- Member, State Bar of Michigan Domestic Violence Committee, 2006-2010
- Member, State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Initiatives Committee
- Member, State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on Justice Initiatives, 2008-2009
City of Plymouth Planning Commissioner, member of subcommittee for revising Zoning Ordinance, 2002
Board Member, First Step: Western and Downriver Wayne County Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2007-present
Fundraising Committee, First Step: Western and Downriver Wayne County Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2009-present
Awards & Recognition
Recipient of the Washtenaw County Bar Association's 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award, February, 2014
Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, June 2011
Recipient of 2009 Pro Bono Service Award from the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
James B. Angell Scholar