October 26, 2020

Ms. Schneider was honored by Kids in Need of Defense for her advocacy and commitment to the legal needs of a teenage boy represented by the organization.

Willkie partner Heather Schneider was recognized as a Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the leading national organization advocating for the rights of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children in the US.

Through strategic partnerships, KIND provides pro bono legal representation for children in need and advocates for new law and policy in both the US and their countries of origin. KIND pro bono attorneys work directly with children to help them build their cases, gain valuable courtroom experience, and develop expertise in a unique area of law. Last year, KIND received over 175,000 hours and $103 million in pro bono legal services, bringing its total for pro bono services to more than 880,000 hours and $475 million in pro bono services since 2009.

Ms. Schneider is named a Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for her advocacy on behalf of a 17-year-old boy whose appeal was unreasonably delayed by a government agency. The appeal was eventually granted, and today, the client is on a clear path towards permanent residency.

“Although I’m a patent lawyer who is used to dealing with complicated legal issues, I was surprised to find out how difficult it can be to navigate the immigration system,” said Ms. Schneider. “That’s why the work KIND does with its pro bono partners like Willkie is so crucial. I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Learn more about the work of KIND here.