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Foster Garvey attorneys and staff are deeply committed to engaging in pro bono legal and public service activities that help individuals and communities attain equal access to justice. Our work in this area assists individuals and organizations in cases involving criminal justice reform, including clemency cases; representing low-income individuals, refugees and immigrants; and helping veterans, among many other important issue areas.

Below are a few notable examples of the firm’s recent pro bono work:

Working Together With Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to Help a Mother and Son Gain Asylum and Avoid Deportation

Foster Garvey and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) worked together to help Anna and her son Jorge, Guatemalan asylum seekers, find refuge in the United States and avoid deportation. John Hoerster, the firm’s Public Service Counsel, first began representing Anna in her asylum case in 2017 when she was referred by NWIRP, an organization devoted to promoting justice by defending and advancing the rights of immigrants through direct legal services, systemic advocacy and community education.

Read more here.

Supporting FVAP to Shield Domestic Violence Survivors and Their Children From Abuse

Foster Garvey worked in tandem with the Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP) to obtain a successful outcome on behalf of our client, a domestic violence survivor, in her dissolution proceedings against her abusive ex-husband. Seattle principal Adrian Urquhart Winder was instrumental in defending this client against the former husband's motion to vacate a default judgment regarding their divorce, as well as other claims.

Read more here.

Summer Associates Team Up With the Truth, Hope & Justice Initiative to Drive Systemic Change

Foster Garvey attorneys, including a group of its summer associates, teamed up on a criminal justice reform project to create a new research database on settlements and verdicts in police brutality cases throughout the United States.

The firm partnered with the Truth, Hope & Justice Initiative on this timely pro bono project as a means of uniting its 2022 summer associates through a shared goal. This project provided opportunity for each one to gain meaningful hands-on experience and exercise their legal research skills to advance an important cause.

Read more here.

Providing Assistance to Catholic Charities of Oregon

Foster Garvey is proud of its longstanding relationship with Catholic Charities of Oregon (“Catholic Charities”), through which the firm assists on a variety of pro bono matters, both small and large. Catholic Charities provides essential, life-changing services to the most vulnerable Oregonians. These services include affordable and supportive housing, legal services, refugee resettlement and many others. The organization was founded in 1933 during the Great Depression and has been a steadfast ally of the poor and marginalized since its inception.

Recently, Foster Garvey’s involvement has been focused on working with Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services division and furthering the development of the organization’s immigration strategy, which has included meeting with senior management and organizing pro bono consulting services from the former Executive Director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. The firm has also provided advice and representation to Catholic Charities and its dedicated housing entity, Caritas Housing, which has acquired, developed, rehabilitated and managed more than 1,200 affordable housing units across the state.  

Read more here.

Supporting Our Nation's Defenders Through The Veterans Consortium

Since 2017, Foster Garvey has assisted The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (“TVC”), a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to aiding veterans and family members who have been denied disability benefits by the Veterans Affairs (“VA”) system. For nearly three decades, TVC has provided pro bono legal service to veterans and their families, caregivers and survivors in federal venues. The organization also gives training and support to attorneys representing veteran claimants or family members before the Veterans Court.

In 2023, Foster Garvey worked on three cases with TVC. Some of these matters involved successfully ensuring veterans receive the benefits to which they are entitled—previously improperly denied by the VA—for their health issues.

Read more here.

The Road to Safety: Teaming With NWIRP to Defend the Rights of a Mother and Her Children Escaping a World of Violence

A cross-office Foster Garvey team diligently worked together to assist a family from El Salvador with obtaining administrative closure in a defensive asylum matter, after a more than six-year-long process.

In 2016, Maritza Carolina Ventura de Rivas came to the United States with her son Iker (12) and daughter Génesis (13) to flee the atrocities of the gang violence plaguing daily life in their home country. While living in El Salvador, Iker was heavily pressured by the local gangs to serve as a lookout. When he refused, his uncle was forced to clean a car covered with blood, and Iker received repeated threats on his journey to and from school, including threats to rape his family members.

Fearing that this type of abuse would escalate into something far worse, the family sought an escape but lacked the resources to make a move of any kind. Eventually, the family received funding from Iker and Génesis' father to come to the United States.

Read more here

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