For Immediate Release: October 16, 2012
Washington, DC – Human Rights First has selected Ropes & Gray LLP to receive its 2012 Frankel Award for outstanding pro-bono work on asylum cases. Ropes & Gray LLP, an internationally-renowned law firm with a deep-seated commitment to pro bono representation, will be recognized today during a reception in Washington, DC and during Human Rights First’s upcoming Human Rights Award Dinner in New York City on October 24. For over ten years, attorneys at the firm have provided superior legal representation to refugees seeking asylum in the United States. The firm’s ongoing support of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection Program, which manages a national case load of over 800 asylum clients, continues to grow both in strength and quality.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our partnership with the attorneys of Ropes & Gray, who work tirelessly on behalf of those who flee persecution and mass human rights violations,” said Human Rights First’s Vanessa Allyn. “This award recognizes the transformative, life-changing, and often lifesaving work that pro bono attorneys do through our Refugee Protection Program.”
Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection Program is one of the largest and most successful in the country, with an over 90% success rate. Each year, attorneys donate over 70,000 hours of their time to the program — a donation the equivalent of over $30 million in legal fees — to helping asylum clients. Pro bono attorneys, like those at Ropes & Gray, also provide invaluable support to Human Rights First in other ways, including preparing amicus curiae briefs in cases involving important issues of international human rights law.
Through this annual award Human Rights First honors the memory of Judge Marvin E. Frankel, a founding father of Human Rights First and former Chairman of our Board of Directors. Judge Frankel died in 2002. During his lifetime he dedicated a great deal of his time and energy to making a difference in the human rights movement.