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Javiera L. Wood

  • Hosted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, The Sidley Austin Foundation
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school Seattle University School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Unaccompanied immigrant children have unique vulnerabilities that require enhanced procedural safeguards and specialized legal representation. Only with access to competent legal representation can we ensure due process and access to justice for all unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. Javiera’s project sought to help children overcome daunting obstacles and find relief by addressing the increased need for legal representation.

Javiera immigrated to the United States when she was sixteen years old. Throughout her journey, she was treated with empathy. Today, she hopes to be an advocate and support other children in their journeys.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Javiera: 

  • Trained and oversaw the work of 16 pro bono attorneys for the representation of 12 unaccompanied immigrant children
  • Recruited prospective pro bono volunteers
  • Coordinated pro bono placement and staffing 
  • Provided full representation to 24 clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and various state courts 
  • Pursued affirmative humanitarian relief, including asylum/withholding/CAT, U-visas, T-visas, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Drafted Employment Authorization Document applications, applications for Adjustment of Status, and pursued dismissal of removal proceedings 
  • Connected clients with comprehensive social services  
  • Successfully advocated for the dismissal of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) check-ins for all children of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM) in Spokane, WA 
  • Facilitated outreach; served as an organizational liaison with key stakeholders; conducted one workshop, nine presentations to local community groups, and four webinars to legal service providers on the immigration system and ethical considerations in working with immigrant children 

Next Steps

Javiera will continue to serve immigrant communities in Washington state. She hopes to continue training more pro bono attorneys and providing direct representation to unaccompanied children in need of defense. 


Two 2020 grads receive Equal Justice Works Fellowships

KIND was founded based on the conviction that no child should face immigration court alone. The same conviction has inspired me to direct my efforts to immigration law actively.

Javiera L. Wood /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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