The Proskauer corporate social responsibility and pro bono blog

LANDmark Acquisition for Community Land Trust in Boston

The Boston based Chinatown Community Land Trust (CCLT) has been a perennial pro bono client of Proskauer. CCLT seeks to promote efforts to stabilize the future of Boston’s Chinatown in light of the recent influx of gentrification and development that has sharply limited affordable housing and diluted the traditional culture in one of Boston’s minority communities. The relationship between Proskauer and CCLT was initiated by a referral from Lawyers Clearinghouse concerning the efforts of the Mass Pike Tower Tenants Association to purchase the Mass Pike Towers low income housing complex from the current owner, with plans to subsequently transfer ownership of the complex to CCLT to ensure its continued use as a low-income housing facility. Since then, Proskauer and CCLT have been engaged in furthering CCLT’s goals of promoting community ownership of land and local investment in Boston’s Chinatown community.

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Helping Non-Profits Navigate Tax and Labor Issues

Amanda Nussbaum, a partner in the Tax Department and a member of the Not-for-Profit Group at Proskauer, chairs a comprehensive seminar each fall for non-profits to discuss current developments and topics of interest related to tax, labor, governance and benefits.

This year marked the Firm’s 22nd conference.

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Illegal or Fraudulent Entry Into the U.S. and its Effect on Asylum

Those seeking to escape immediate danger or imminent persecution often rely on false documents when fleeing to a safe country.  But can a fraudulent or illegal entry into the U.S. pose an issue for asylum?

The manner of entry into this country, or the circumvention of an orderly refugee process abroad, is indeed one of the factors that can weigh against granting asylum. That, however, cannot be an independent ground to deny asylum, but has to be considered in the context of other factors, as recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals and several Courts of Appeals.   See Lin v. Gonzales, 445 F.3d 127, 133-34 (2d Cir. 2006). As one court noted, if illegal entry were an independent reason to deny asylum, “virtually no persecuted refugee would obtain asylum.” Wu Zheng Huang v. INS, 436 F.3d 89, 100 (2d Cir. 2006).

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Coming Full Circle With Association to Benefit Children

Nearly 10 years ago, in the summer of 2008, I began my first job after college as a program associate at Association to Benefit Children (A-B-C) in East Harlem.  Entering the real world unsure of what career I wanted to pursue, I leapt at the chance to have a two-year fellowship at a community-based nonprofit in New York City.

That decision was life-changing.

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Inability to Leave an Abusive Relationship Can Be a Basis for Asylum

When can domestic violence form the basis of a successful asylum claim?  A New York City immigration judge recently granted asylum to one of our pro bono clients who was found to have suffered past persecution on account of her membership in a particular social group—that of “Honduran women in a common law marriage who are unable to leave the relationship.”  This result is consistent with recent authority establishing that an asylum claim can, depending on the particular facts and circumstances, be grounded upon the inability to leave an abusive domestic relationship.

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Cycling Against the Clock for Breast Cancer Care

For the fourth year in a row our London office took part in Tour de Law, a charity event run by Breast Cancer Care. Tour de Law is the largest legal race in the UK and brings together top law firms to race against each other over 1000km, the distance from London to Paris and back again.

Sadly, breast cancer is a disease that affects many of us at some point in our lives, whether personally or through family and friends, and with many of us reflecting on personal experiences, the event felt very close to our hearts. Therefore it was a real team effort – our New York office got involved too, raising money through a ‘Casual for a Cause’ day for Breast Cancer Care.  Tour de Law raised over £60,000 for the charity – an amazing achievement, and I feel proud to be part of the Proskauer team supporting the cause.

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Helping Mercy Home Promote #AbilityOverDisability

As providers of 13 residential care facilities for intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals in Brooklyn, Queens, and in Nassau County, Mercy Home’s caring and dedicated staff pride themselves on elevating each resident’s inherent dignity, enabling a life filled with learning and love. Mercy Home designs its homes to promote the independence and autonomy of its residents, leading to its focus on #AbilityOverDisability.

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