The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) has selected attorneys Jordan Baehr and Bill Madden as its October 2021 “Pro Bono Champions.” The KCMBA, which included input from a Jackson County Judge, chose the Shook team for work they have done in partnership with Legal Aid of Western Missouri to help a client pursue “T” and “U” visas which provide a path to U.S. permanent residency.
“Getting to know the client and her bravery is incredibly rewarding,” said Baehr. “It’s a privilege to help her tell her story as she seeks immigration protection for the life she has built here. Gathering the facts and telling the story is what we do every day as litigators, but it’s special to see how it can directly affect a person and a community. And of course, it has changed us as her attorneys.”
Madden adds that the pro bono resources and support Shook provides are essential.
“Familiarizing oneself with the nuances of immigration law is a daunting process, but having access to a wealth of institutional knowledge and mentors to guide us through the process has been extremely helpful,” he said.
The Shook team had to analyze court records, interview the client and key witnesses, and draft pleadings for her immigration application. The client first came to the U.S. as a child and now has to renew her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status every two years. Baehr says they won’t find out for two to three years whether the client will gain permanent status.
Baehr and Madden will be featured in the October issue of the KC Counselor. Other Shook team members who were instrumental in the case include Attorney Alex Nguyen and Paralegal Kylene Campbell.