Shook Of Counsel Jesus Torres is committed to using his legal skills and experience to help immigrants coming to the United States. Torres has volunteered as a pro bono attorney for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) since 2018, where he represents unaccompanied minors from Central and South America.
“As the son of Hispanic immigrants, I felt it incumbent to provide free legal services to help the poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised—especially immigrant children,” said Torres. “I can’t save or help every child, but I can change the trajectory of children’s lives in the small part of the world I live in, one child at a time.”
KIND provides legal representation to children in immigration court. As a pro bono attorney through KIND, Torres represents clients under 18 years of age who are coming to the United States—alone in some cases—and are seeking asylum or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. (SIJS). According to Torres, the biggest challenge these clients face upon entering the country is mental.
“I get kids after they have been screened and vetted by KIND and the biggest challenge is trust because they’re always thinking that we’re getting information to turn them in or to get them deported,” said Torres. “They’ve lived in a world where they couldn’t trust anybody and suffered severe mental and physical trauma.”
Torres is co-chair of Shook’s Latinx Employee Resource Group (ERG). The ERG meets monthly and includes both attorneys and professional staff of all backgrounds and identities. Firm employees join in a discussion on the legal, cultural and social impacts on the Latinx community.