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Press Release

Pro Bono Manager, Katie Niejadlik, Receives "Leading Light" Award from Immigration Equality

October 31, 2017

Press Release

Pro Bono Manager, Katie Niejadlik, Receives "Leading Light" Award from Immigration Equality

October 31, 2017

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Fish & Richardson announced today that Katie A. Niejadlik, the firm’s pro bono manager, received the “Leading Light” award from Immigration Equality at the organization’s annual SHINE event, which celebrates the accomplishments of civil rights leaders and supporters in the LGBTQ immigration movement.

Niejadlik is the driving force behind Fish’s pro bono partnership with Immigration Equality, which is the largest national immigrant rights organization providing free legal services and policy advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants. Since 2016, she has helped place Fish attorneys on nearly 20 matters, securing pro bono representation for 22 clients. Clients hail from all corners of the globe — Fish represents immigrants from Syria, the Sudan, Zimbabwe, Serbia, Jamaica, and several other countries — who are seeking asylum in the United States. She was praised by Immigration Equality for her “resourcefulness in pulling together teams to take on urgent cases,” and the impressive work of Fish in obtaining victories in two very complicated cases.

Under Niejadlik’s leadership, Fish has broadened its pro bono immigration practice, emerged as a national leader in providing representation to low-income inventors, and increased its advocacy for voting rights. In 2016, Fish attorneys donated over 19,000 pro bono hours representing clients in need of legal representation. On average, Fish lawyers spend 56 hours a year on pro bono matters, and attorneys receive full hours credit for approved matters. All of Fish’s attorneys are strongly encouraged to take on pro bono matters as a part of their professional lives.

“With funding for legal services and access to justice for low-income individuals at an all-time low, this work has never been more important,” said principal Lawrence Kolodney, who chairs Fish’s pro bono program. “We are thrilled that Katie has received this award, and even prouder of the work that Katie does every day to marshal our firm’s resources to benefit underserved populations.”

Niejadlik has held numerous leadership positions with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, including as director and executive officer. She is also a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Travis County, serving as a guardian ad litem for abused and/or neglected children in foster care. She received her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2002.

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