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Awards and Advocacy

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Human Rights First is grateful for the work of our pro bono attorneys—individuals who devote their time, resources, compassion, and strength to the representation of asylum-seekers.  The commitment of leading law firms to the pro bono representation of asylum-seekers has saved the lives of thousands of people who came to the United States for protection. 

Activists fighting for freedom around the globe continue to look to the United States for inspiration and count on us for support.  This country is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.  With the pro bono representation of asylum-seekers, leading law firms in the United States demonstrate the importance of protecting the human rights of those who come here for protection. 

The pro bono legal representation made possible by the partnership between Human Rights First and law firms also informs our advocacy on refugee protection issues, and vice versa. 

Over the years, we have acknowledged the work of our pro bono attorneys with various awards.

Frankel Award

Each year, 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 with an award in his name. Judge Frankel died in 2002. During his lifetime he dedicated time and energy to making a difference in the human rights movement.  More here

Pro Bono Star Award

Human Rights First gives our Pro Bono Star award to attorneys who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the cases for asylum or related forms of immigration protection that they take on a pro bono basis through our program.  While we are grateful to all our pro bono attorney volunteers, these individuals have given extra time and care to their clients’ cases and we are grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge their hard work.



J. Clare Rose (New York)

Adam Hunt (New York)



Narges Kakalia (New York)

Susanne Peticolas (New York)

Jonathan Klein (New York)



Scott Harlan (Washington, DC)  

Pantea Stevenson (New York)