In the News

Six Chicago-Based Dykema Attorneys Earn Thanks from National Immigrant Justice Center for Recent Pro Bono Efforts

Lawyers Provided Immigrant Clients, All Too Often Overlooked, Access to Justice

August 19, 2013

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), a program of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, thanked six Dykema lawyers—all resident in the Firm’s Chicago Office—for their recent pro bono efforts providing legal counsel to a number of their immigrant clients. Working with outside lawyers, such as the following Dykema attorneys, NIJC provides legal services to more than 10,000 individuals each year and has achieved a success rate of more than 90 percent in obtaining asylum for those fleeing persecution in their home countries.

The Dykema lawyers singled out for recognition include:

Maria A. Diakoumakis, associate in the Business Services Department who focuses on corporate restructuring matters, for her success in obtaining a U visa for a woman and her daughter from Mexico. A U visa gives victims of certain crimes temporary legal status and work eligibility in the U.S. for up to four years.

Two associates in the Litigation Department—Zafreen Husain, who just recently moved from Chicago to Dykema’s Washington, D.C. Office, and Molly Thompson—for securing temporary protection for two young immigrants from Mexico.

Derek Payette, another Litigation attorney who concentrates his efforts on City of Chicago matters, who also obtained temporary protection for a young immigrant from Mexico.

Jeffrey Pine, senior counsel in the Firm’s Intellectual Property & Litigation practice, Greg Wright, senior attorney in the Corporate Finance Practice Group, and Molly Thompson (again!), for their successful efforts in obtaining temporary protection for four young immigrants from Mexico.

In its letter of appreciation, the NIJC observed that—since immigrants do not have access to appointed counsel—the pro bono commitment by these six Dykema lawyers not only enabled these immigrant clients to be professionally represented in the U.S. justice system, but to have a life-changing moment that “truly makes a difference.”