Immigration Legal Advocacy Project, January 18, 2016
Lowell D. Turnbull, an owner at Garvey Schubert Barer, was awarded the honor, ILAP Pro Bono attorney of the year for 2016 by the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (“ILAP”). Lowell has been representing ILAP clients on a Pro Bono Basis since 2012. Thanks to his dedication and efforts, all three of his asylum seeking clients have had successful outcomes. Lowell continues to work diligently for his Pro Bono Clients through ILAP.
PORTLAND, ME – The Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) recognized its nearly 200 volunteers last week with awards for work spanning professional legal service to administrative support to fundraising. Honorees also included members of the community with whom ILAP partners, both in business and in other nonprofits.
Pierce Atwood LLP was honored as the Pro Bono Firm of the year for 2015. The firm provides several attorneys to ILAP’s Pro Bono Panel who represent clients in asylum cases. Having an attorney represent an asylum seeker increases the odds of a successful outcome significantly. In 2015 attorneys from the firm worked on 8 cases for ILAP clients, totaling 500 hours and more than $166,000 in in-kind value. Pierce Atwood also hosted an asylum training for pro bono panelists last year, which included a judge and administrator from Boston Immigration Court.
ILAP’s Pro Bono attorney of the year for 2016 is Lowell Turnbull, an attorney at Garvey, Schubert, Barer and one of 140 pro bono attorneys on ILAP’s asylum panel. Mr. Turnbull moved to Maine in 2010 and by 2012 was representing ILAP clients on a Pro Bono basis. All three of his asylum seeking clients have had successful outcomes thanks to his efforts and he continues to work diligently for his Pro Bono clients through ILAP. The Community Partner award was given to Preble Street for its leadership in the nonprofit community and for the dedicated support its staff provide to Portland’s immigrant community. Mary Allen Lindemann of Coffee by Design was honored with the Business Community Partner award for her company’s commitment to empowering the immigrant community and partnership with ILAP for 15 years.
Chris Kast of the Brand Company was named Development Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding fundraising efforts during CeleSoirée. Anna Lopez-Tous was awarded Intake Volunteer of the Year. Amber Attalla was named Legal Volunteer of the year. The ILAP Hero award was given to Skeek Frazee from Representative Chellie Pingree’s office for her ability to reach out around the world on behalf of ILAP’s clients. A special award was presented that evening to ILAP’s Senior Attorney, Barbara Taylor as well. The 2016 Thomas P. Downing Jr. Award to honor civil legal staff making significant contributions to people in Maine of low income and high vulnerability was presented by Maine Justice Foundation Executive Director Diana Scully, who said "Throughout her careers in education and the law, Barbara Taylor has been a strong advocate for the under-served, empowering her students and clients to assert their rights and ensuring their access to justice. She is truly an inspiration.” Mr. Downing is Diana’s late husband and the award is administered through the Maine Justice Foundation. Volunteers are an essential part of any nonprofit’s work. Pro Bono attorney time for full representation of asylum clients accounted for more than $900,000 in value to ILAP last year. Additionally, in-house volunteers provide critical clinic services to clients, do valuable administrative work and perform important tasks for development of resources. ILAP is fortunate to have such widespread and devoted support for its mission from volunteers in the community.
About Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project: As Maine’s only statewide provider of free and low-cost comprehensive immigration legal assistance for low-income residents, ILAP helps Maine’s immigrants keep their families together, gain protection from persecution and domestic violence, attain residency and work authorization, and become proud U.S. citizens. To learn more about ILAP, please visit their site at www.ilapmaine.org.