Pro Bono | About Us | Vinson & Elkins LLP

Client Partnership: Through our pro bono partnership with Dell, V&E lawyers represented a young girl who came to the U.S. from the Philippines at 14 to live with her father. She ran away after her father threatened to sell her into prostitution. Upon receiving her information from the Department of Homeland Security, V&E lawyers realized the girl was rightfully a U.S. citizen under the Child Citizenship Act. Lawyers filed the appropriate paperwork, prepared the client, and attended the interview. As a result of these efforts, the young girl’s application was approved and she can now legally live and work in the U.S.

Family Law: In 2011, the Legal Aid Society of The District of Columbia asked V&E to represent a mother in a pending custody case filed by the father of their four-year-old daughter. The mother, who has four children, had recently obtained a civil protection order against the father who had allegedly perpetrated domestic violence against the mother and was suspected of abuse or neglect against the daughter for whom he had filed for sole custody. Over the course of nearly two years, our successful representation of the mother included numerous hearings in the Family Division of DC Superior Court, a home study, mental health evaluation, and interactive assessment, in addition to child support proceedings.

Corporate Pro Bono: V&E lawyers represented a group of passionate parents with an organization called Connecting Point Park Cities in seeking its 501(c)(3) status. The pro bono assistance has gone far beyond tax advice as our lawyers helped the organization develop a post-secondary learning environment for handicapped young adults. In today’s times of budget cuts, handicapped young adults are often overlooked with respect to available resources, making this an especially rewarding project.

Asylum: V&E lawyers assisted Lucy,* a 14-year-old girl originally from El Salvador, in obtaining special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS). Lucy’s father came to the U.S. to work and support his family. When Lucy’s mother passed away, she lived with her uncle who later became a target of extortion and gang violence, forcing the entire family to flee El Salvador for safety. The family undertook a long journey that included walking in the desert for nearly a week. Shortly after crossing the U.S. border, the family was taken into custody by immigration authorities. Lucy was eventually reunited with her father in the U.S., but faced deportation proceedings. After a lengthy legal process, including appearances in both state family court and federal immigration court, Lucy was granted SIJS and permanent legal residency. Lucy is currently enrolled in middle school in Houston, where her favorite class is science, and she enjoys dancing and soccer.  *Name is a pseudonym.

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