Our lawyers performed pro bono work around the world to ensure that the most vulnerable had legal representation
Highlights of our work in 2018
Victory for same-sex spouses to move freely across the EU
Working in partnership with Romanian NGO ACCEPT, lawyers in our Brussels office represented a same-sex couple at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), winning a landmark ruling that recognizes the right of same-sex spouses to move freely across Europe when one spouse is a non-EU resident. We joined the ACCEPT lawyers on record before the ECJ, taking an unexpected approach that positioned the case as an issue of freedom of movement, rather than human rights. The court ruled that same-sex married couples must have equivalent rights to heterosexual married couples to travel and reside anywhere in the EU.
Support for detained immigrants in the US
We have been providing pro bono legal services on a number of projects aimed at ensuring the rights of immigrants being detained in the United States. Lawyers in our Washington, DC office are working with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition to represent detained immigrants in the region. Lawyers across our US offices have worked at various rural immigrant detention facilities in the southern US as part of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Southern Immigrant Freedom Initiative. Through this ongoing project, our lawyers spend a week working onsite and are trained and supervised by SPLC experts to evaluate cases, handle bond hearings and prepare deportation defenses. Our Spanish-speaking lawyers have worked onsite at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas to assist parents separated from their children at the border, while other lawyers have provided remote legal representation conducting credible fear interviews for detained parents at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas.
Lead-exposure testing for at-risk children in Flint, Michigan
A team of lawyers in our New York office helped win a precedent-setting settlement for approximately 30,000 children in Flint, Michigan, who had been exposed to lead-tainted water during the city's water crisis. The settlement ensures that every child will receive the most sophisticated testing available to measure the impact of lead exposure. Michigan will pay more than US$4 million to cover the cost of the screenings. Our team served as co-counsel with the Education Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. We are continuing this partnership into the next phase of our lawsuit, which will ensure that Flint schools have the resources needed to provide these children with the educational opportunities that are their legal right.
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