Beth Zilberman

  • Hosted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, Sidley Austin LLP
  • Service location Boston, Massachusetts
  • Law school Boston College Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2013
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Beth provided direct representation to unaccompanied immigrant female minors in the Boston area who have been victims of gender-based violence. She collaborated with mental health and medical providers to increase access to critical social services for these children.

In recent months, the numbers of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in their home countries and entering the U.S. alone has increased significantly. These minors are being immediately placed in expedited deportation proceedings. Beth’s clients are among the most vulnerable unaccompanied minors whose well-being—and even their lives—are at risk if they are deported. Children cannot successfully navigate the complex immigration legal system alone, yet they are not afforded the right to appointed counsel in immigration proceedings. Beth’s project provides critical legal representation to traumatized children who would otherwise have to participate in proceedings alone. Beth is also using her expertise to mentor law firm and corporate pro bono attorneys.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Beth has:

  • Provided legal representation to young female survivors of gender-based violence who are facing deportation
  • Developed best practices for legal representation and social services collaboration in serving this uniquely vulnerable population
  • Created model filings for pro bono attorneys representing unaccompanied minors facing deportation
  • Mentored pro bono attorneys representing unaccompanied minors in increasingly expedited and complex proceedings
  • Provide high-level mentorship to pro bono attorneys facing complex and expedited proceedings in the context of the surge of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence
  • Collaborated with social service providers and other stakeholders to ensure her clients—and similarly situated vulnerable minors—have access to the services they need

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