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Martha Laura Garcia

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Martha Laura Garcia

Martha Laura Garcia

Name of Host Organization:
City, State: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue area: Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Project

The main goal of the project is to assist the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (“NMILC”) in responding to the growing demand of legal services for the immigrant community in New Mexico.  Specifically, the project is divided into four service categories.  First, the Fellow will provide direct representation to individuals qualifying for legal services in immigration-related matters.  Second, the Fellow will assist with pro se litigants in their cases.  This includes not only in person assistance, but also developing pro se materials for litigants.  Third, the Fellow will mentor and train pro bono attorneys who wish to dedicate their time to serving the immigrant communities.  Finally, the Fellow will cultivate partnerships with community organizations in the area through outreach. This includes co-hosting know your rights workshops and other advocacy efforts with local organizations.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
This project has been created to address the gap in legal representation within the immigrant communities in New Mexico. For many communities geographical, social, and economic barriers prevent its members for accessing basic legal services. This project aims to close the gap by making justice more accessible to those who otherwise have been unable to seek assistance. Additionally, by working with other immigrant rights groups, legal service providers, and community organizations the project will maximize its reach across the state.
The Right Person For This Project

Martha Laura is the right person for the project because: 

  • As an immigrant herself, she understands the impact access to legal services can have on a person’s life
  • She is culturally sensitive to the needs of immigrant communities and has dedicated her legal career to empowering them
  • She has experience in community outreach and maintaining partnerships with immigrant rights organizations
  • She has worked with clients one-on-one in their immigration cases
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Martha Laura will:

  • Represent a reasonable number of clients with immigration cases.
  • Reach out to pro bono networks in the area
  • Visit community partners to find new ways to work together
  • Become acquainted with the existing outreach material at the NMILC and expand and update as necessary
  • Identify areas of need in the community and develop a plan to fill those needs.
  • Get to know the community being served by the NMILC