IMMIGRATION LAW GROUP OF FLORIDA TO RECEIVE COMMENDATION FOR PRO BONO WORK
TALLAHASSEE – Immigration Law Group of Florida, P.A., of St. Petersburg will receive the 2017 Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation at the annual Pro Bono Awards ceremony. The commendation honors significant contributions in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis. The commendation will be presented by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga on Jan. 19 at the Supreme Court of Florida.
Kathlyn Mackovjak and Adriana Dinis, who founded the Immigration Law Group of Florida three years ago, are passionate about helping those less fortunate.
Dinis, who earned her J.D. in 2008 from the Stetson University College of Law, where she received the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award, joined Gulfcoast Legal Services in St. Petersburg that same year. She still is a staff attorney for its Children’s Immigration Legal Defense project.
Mackovjak graduated from college in 1992 and then spent the next 10 years with the Peace Corps and Red Cross, working in places such as Rwanda, the People’s Republic of Congo, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. She earned her J.D. in 2003 from American University’s Washington College of Law, and then, like Dinis, represented clients for Gulfcoast Legal Services.
When they founded the Immigration Law Group in 2014, they made pro bono service an integral part of the firm’s culture. The firm addresses the unique needs of immigrants in two ways: Through direct support with pro bono services, and by educating the entire community, including law enforcement, about issues specific to immigrants.
The Immigration Law Group assists the InterCultural Advocacy Institute of Clearwater (also known as the Hispanic Outreach Center) by providing pro bono advice at a clinic every other month. It made at least 13 community presentations in 2016 on issues such as unaccompanied children at our borders, refugees and asylum, and human trafficking. The firm also offers training to law enforcement on human trafficking.
The firm currently is representing three victims of domestic abuse whose cases promise to extend months or even years from now.
In 2016, the Immigration Law Group of Florida was honored in the Sixth Judicial Circuit for Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm.
This year’s awards ceremony, which also honors individual, circuit, voluntary bar, young lawyer, state judicial, and federal judicial pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida. The ceremony will be streamed live at http://wfsu.org/gavel2gavel.