July 5, 2023

On June 28, 2023, volunteers from Willkie’s San Francisco office prepared employment authorization applications for low-income asylees and noncitizens with T Visa status living in the San Francisco Bay Area through a limited-scope clinic.

The clinic was set up and facilitated by longtime Willkie pro bono partner Tahirih Justice Center, a national, nonprofit organization that serves immigrant survivors fleeing gender-based violence in their home countries. In the morning, Tahirih attorneys led a training seminar and remained available during the clinic to provide guidance as needed.

Following the training, Willkie summer law clerks worked with Willkie attorneys from our San Francisco office to prepare the employment authorization applications. In total, the Willkie teams completed employment authorization applications for six immigrants.

Willkie’s work in this area helps to address a lack of access to legal support for a vulnerable community. Without employment authorization, these individuals cannot be hired to work in the United States, thus preventing them from legally earning an income. Through this clinic, those who Willkie assisted can expect to receive employment authorization in a few months and will be able to obtain gainful employment so that they can support and provide for themselves and their families.

“It is very rewarding to provide services that have a direct and immediate impact on a client’s life,” said San Francisco counsel Nicole Zayac, one of the volunteers.

The Willkie volunteers included counsel Nicole Zayac; associates Emily Abbey, Isabella Corbo and Zoe Packman; and summer law clerks Nicole Antonuccio, Remy Carreiro, Chelsea Hu, Anna Kuritzkes, Ben Lidsky, Michael Morizono and Emma Rodriguez.