On September 15, WilmerHale partnered with AYUDA, a leading provider of multilingual legal and social services for low-income immigrants, to host an all-day clinic at the firm. The clinic provided brief legal services to individuals eligible to apply for the deferred status and employment authorization now available under the Department of Homeland Security. As of June 15, the new program known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), defers the deportation of low-risk, non-criminal youth who are honorably discharged veterans, in school, or at minimum have earned a GED. Those who demonstrate that they meet the necessary criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
Twenty-eight WilmerHale attorneys and 6 staff volunteered for the day or for a four-hour shift, and underwent training to assist clients in assembling the application packet – completing three forms and organizing supporting documentation. Alongside were AYUDA lawyers to offer additional guidance, answer questions and review all assembled applications.
The firm has had a partnership with AYUDA spanning more than 15 years. During that time, WilmerHale has offered financial support along with pro bono legal services for the institution and its clients.
DACA took effect just three months prior to the clinic, which innately positions WilmerHale as one of the first firms in the nation to host an on-site clinic on the issue. This is also the second time that AYUDA lawyers have processed applications in a group setting. Lawyers in all of our U.S. offices have been volunteering in DACA clinics since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications on August 15, and many more opportunities to participate will be available in the coming months. Lawyers from our Boston and Waltham offices will participate in a training on October 4th through PAIR (Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project) and on-site clinic work will begin soon after.
WilmerHale attorneys and AYUDA translator assist clients with application packets.
WilmerHale’s on-site clinic was divided into 18 stations.
Clients complete paperwork and await legal assistance.