October 25, 2022

Sarah Geiger has been awarded a 2022 KINDness Matters award by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). The award recognizes outstanding attorneys and volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their assistance to unaccompanied children this year. Sarah was recognized for her pro bono efforts, over several years, to help two young sisters separated from their mother at the U.S. border after fleeing gang violence in El Salvador.

KIND is the leading U.S.-based nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children. Sarah was on the Willkie pro bono team that worked with the organization in a yearslong process to secure resident status for the children and obtain custody for their mother.

Sarah, a discovery attorney based in Willkie’s DC office, worked closely with the young sisters, who had spent four months in a youth detention center in Pennsylvania after being separated from their mother following their escape to the U.S. from El Salvador.

KIND recognized the skill, kindness and patience Sarah brought to the case.

“When we had our first meeting, it only had been three months since the two girls had been reunited with their mother after a long and harrowing period in detention,” Sarah said. “I brought markers, stickers, and a small plush toy for each of the sisters. It still took several hours of talking and playing at our office before the girls would look me in the eye. I knew the relationship would take time.”

Sarah ultimately helped the sisters build a new life in northern Virginia, where they are thriving and looking forward to eventual citizenship. 

Sarah Geiger Pro Bono Immigration Attorney Litigation