DRUMMOND WOODSUM HONORED BY IMMIGRANT LEGAL ADVOCACY PROJECT
On December 8th, Attorney Sara Hellstedt accepted, on behalf of Drummond Woodsum, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project's Pro Bono Firm of the Year Award for 2011. This is the second time we have won this award.
The award was given in recognition of our firm's commitment to handling political asylum cases, and in recognition of the tremendous successes we have had in those cases. Drummond Woodsum accepted 11 political asylum cases in 2011. Numerous attorneys have accepted cases – Melissa Hewey, Toby Dilworth, Elek Miller, Tom Trenholm, David Sherman, Sara Hellstedt, Kim Pacelli and Mike Murray have all accepted cases, and many others have expressed a willingness to take cases and to join ILAP's panel of pro bono attorneys. In addition, many staff members have worked hard on these cases, handling the avalanche of paperwork that the government requires in reviewing a political asylum claim.
As she accepted the award, Sara eloquently told a room full of ILAP's volunteers and contributors how privileged she felt to work at a place that supports this kind of work, and the admiration she felt for her colleagues who did the work. Indeed, these cases are being handled by some of our busiest and most successful colleagues in their spare time, people who could easily be forgiven for declining to take on these challenging and often emotionally wrenching cases. That so many have done this, and that many more are willing to, speaks volumes about our values as an institution, and the impact we have on our community.