Roy W. Berwick

The Project

Roy’s project aims to bring legal aid and help to veterans and their families on a full range of issues, such as family law, consumer protection, expungements, evictions, landlord/tenant issues, discharge upgrades, Social Security claims, and Veteran Administration claims on an extended basis.

As a Fellow, Roy will:

  • Perform outreach at VA sites
  • Arrange community actions and activities for veterans
  • Serve as a member of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Military Committee
  • Deliver professional presentations to peers

The Inspiration

“As a retired soldier I sought to continue my efforts to help those in need and to those forgotten by a system they gave their all to, regardless of discharge status or disadvantage. This passion stems from my first JAGC assignment as a Trial Defense Counsel to a Combat Division in the very early 1980s, where I witnessed and unwittingly allowed young soldiers, especially female soldiers, to accept less than good discharges and punishments to escape situations that had harmed or scared them. I simply did not recognize that they sought to escape frightening situations in their units. I have tried to make up for my unwitting participation that punished the victims and allowed the culprits to soldier on by standing up for the underdog,” says Roy.

The Project

Lauren’s Fellowship addressed the need for victims of crime to have support and guidance through the legal system. This legal support makes it easier for victims to come forward when crimes occur and get them the resources they need to protect themselves. By helping victims report crimes and navigate the legal system, government agencies are better equipped to locate criminals involved in trafficking crimes and prosecute them more effectively. 

Lauren’s Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellowship focused on victims of crime to ensure they were notified of their rights as victims of crime. Lauren worked specifically with victims of labor and sex trafficking to address their needs and ensure they knew of their rights. 

Lauren has experience working with low-income populations at various nonprofits; she has also worked on criminal law, immigration, and public benefit cases in the pastShe is passionate about helping communities that are under-served, and she believes helping trafficking victims overcome obstacles is extremely rewarding. 

The Project

Lauren practiced foreclosure defense and predatory mortgage lending by defending low-income homeowners in foreclosure cases and affirmative cases against lenders who have engaged in illegal lending practices.

The Project

The program is designed to provide legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children in immigration removal proceedings and assistance in identifying and obtaining relief from removal.

Many children are eligible for a youth visa, which requires the child to be placed into the legal custody of a person living in the United States. The Ohio juvenile courts are unfamiliar with the process and, at time, resistant to the overlay of state custody laws with federal immigration laws.

After the trauma of living in the most dangerous countries in the world and coming to a new country, these children need compassion, understanding, and a chance at a better life. This project provides these children an opportunity to experience all three.

Children clients look to their attorneys for more than just legal representation. They need a guiding hand to patiently walk them through the legal process while they face their own internal pain of separation from everything familiar in their home countries.

To date, Allison has met with dozens of children who entered the United States without a parent or guardian. Many of these children experienced violence, maltreatment, hunger, and extreme poverty in their home countries and along the trek to the United States. Allison has seen children as young as 4 years old in front of an immigration judge with no capacity to comprehend the proceedings.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Allison:

  • Worked with vulnerable populations
  • Secured protection for victims of violence
  • Represented children in removal proceedings and in custody proceedings
  • Educated the local juvenile courts on the issues they will see in custody cases involving these unaccompanied immigrant children