Lauren L. Wyatt

  • Hosted by Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps, Equal Justice Works
  • Service location Washington, DC
  • Law school Howard University School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations, Immigrant Populations/Minorities, Immigration Law Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

I work providing direct legal representation in immigration and related proceedings for unaccompanied immigrant children aged 15 and under. I conduct thorough intakes of child clients and provide legal representation to children in immigration removal proceedings, including in cases involving asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and other forms of relief before USCIS and state court. I help mentor pro bono attorneys to represent children in immigration or state court proceedings in some instances. I screen clients for trauma, abuse and trafficking, and make referrals to additional services, as appropriate.

The Inspiration

Why is this Project Important

This project is important because many of these children are fleeing horrible circumstances in their native countries, but without someone to help them navigate the American legal system, they will most likely be sent right back home to the same problems and danger they were facing before.

Need Addressed By Project

Thousands of Central American children cross the border into the U.S. every year, and with the recent surge last summer, there is a greater need than ever before for low-cost legal representation for kids fleeing violence, abuse, and other trauma in their home countries. Without an attorney, the vast majority of these children would be deported, including many who qualify for legal relief.

Fellowship Highlights

I get to learn more about immigration law and about life in other countries every single day.

The Right Person For This Project

The right person for this project has lots of patience, an open mind, uses every day as a learning experience, and is good with kids.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

I want to learn more of the nuances of immigration law, complete the cases I’ve started, and learn the Central American Spanish accent better.

Highlights to Date

Getting to meet and learn from some of the most adorable kids from all over Central America.

What are your goals?

To become more familiar with the law so that I can be more sure of myself when unexpected situations arise.

Meet Other Fellows Like Lauren

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Giliane Cherubin

Host: Human Rights First

Sponsor: Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Alisa Wellek

Host: Immigrant Defense Project

Sponsor: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel

Equal Justice Works Logomark

Adam Michael Klock

Host: Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge

Jennifer Reinbold

Host: Catholic Charities of the Archdoicese of Washington