YLS Pro Bono winner Danielle Atchison
Being highlighted as an example of pro bono excellence is becoming a common occurrence for Danielle Atchison, a business immigration lawyer with Mdvani Corporate Immigration Law Firm in Kansas City.
Last year, the Mdvani Corporate Immigration Law Firm was recognized with a Pro Bono Publico award for the work they have done helping immigrant women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. In August, Atchison was presented the Tom Cochran Award for community service by The Missouri Bar’s Young Lawyers’ Section. Today, YLS is also honoring her with their Pro Bono Publico award for her continued dedication to helping women and children striving to escape abusive situations.
Atchison was proud to note that since March 2020 they have filed multiple green card applications and received several approvals of pending cases. She credits the commitment her firm has to helping others and their willingness to support pro bono efforts for her ability to make an impact on the lives of her clients.
“I was so nervous that COVID-19 would slow the work we would get from shelters. In times like this, individuals are even more hesitant to leave their abusers with mounting uncertainty,” said Atchison.
“Amazingly, our local shelters are still kicking butt and working hard to ensure survivors have a safe place to reside while they are picking their life back up. Because of strong-willed survivors, amazing shelters, and our firm’s flexibility, we have continued our pro bono work for this population who needs it the most.”
Just this week, Atchison received an approval notice in the mail for a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) client and received this email in response:
“I am so excited for this news, l can breathe a little. It's always at the back of my mind. I also have good news l was offered a full-time position with benefits at my job so things are looking up. Thank you all for helping and encouraging me along the way. I am excited.”
It is clear when speaking with Atchison that she loves her job.
“This ability to do free work for people who literally have all the odds stacked against them - no family or friends around, no ability to work, and sometimes no ability to communicate due to language barriers in addition to battling the effects of majorly traumatic experiences - is a blessing.”
Click here to learn more about The Missouri Bar’s annual awards.