The Atlanta Lawyer April 2018 - Page 15

more than 111 countries around the globe. For almost a decade, GAIN ran its operations from the law firm of King & Spalding. But in May 2017, the organization began car- rying out its mission from its new office space in downtown Atlanta. In its new home, the organization furthered its impact by increas- ing its capacity to serve a grow- ing number of clients in need of quality pro bono representation in their immigration matters. With an increasing caseload, GAIN has been fortunate to grow its team as well, and by the end of 2018, will have nearly doubled its staff to keep up with the demand for its services. While this growth is positive for GAIN, it is a direct response to the challenges facing our immigrant communities here in Georgia. GAIN’s services are needed now more than ever, not just in metro Atlanta, but also in rural areas of Georgia where access to immigra- tion legal services is often limited or nonexistent. Through federal funding and the coordination and cooperation of legal service part- ners, GAIN expanded its reach and is now serving the needs of vulnerable immigrants across the entire State of Georgia. At the heart of GAIN’s mission, vision, and values are the coura- geous, hardworking, and resilient clients who are fleeing persecution in their home countries or have fallen victim to a crime here in the United States. From the single mother from Honduras trying to escape an abusive marriage, to the young physician who was deemed a wanted man by the Syrian gov- ernment simply for providing medical care to civilians tortured by Isis–these are the stories of the lives impacted by GAIN’s work. To date, GAIN has proudly assisted thousands of such individuals es- cape abusive situations and rebuild their lives. While changing immigration poli- cies have led to widespread confu- sion, fear, and an overall decrease in the number of crime victims coming forward to report their dangers to law enforcement, GAIN remains committed to serving the needs of its clients and to being a bridge to quality pro bono legal representation. GAIN’s work would not be pos- sible without the generosity of the Atlanta legal community and the volunteer attorneys who repre- sent cases through its Victims of Violence and Asylum Programs. On March 23, 2018, GAIN hosted its fifth annual “Go Formal For Freedom” Gala at the InterCon- tinental Buckhead Atlanta where 400 guests came together to honor the resilience of GAIN’s clients and to celebrate the contributions of our pro bono legal commu- nity. That evening, GAIN awarded the Honorable Beverly Baldwin Martin with the Commitment to Justice Award, Alexandra Holland, of Ogletree, Deakins as the Volun- teer Attorney of the Year for the Victims of Violence Program, Joe Reynolds and John Moye of Kil- patrick, Townsend and Stockton as Volunteer Attorneys of the Year for the Asylum Program, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP as Volunteer Law Firm of the Year and Crispin Ilombe Wilondja, as the Client Inspiration Award hon- oree. GAIN’s guests came together for this tremendous occasion to applaud the award winners and support safety, opportunity and freedom for GAIN clients and immigrant victims of crime and persecution. To learn more about GAIN’s mis- sion or to donate, please visit www. georgiaasylum.org. ▪ Written by Monica Modi Khant (GAIN Executive Director), Article contribu- tion by Mikaela Houghton and Alpa Amin. Pictured from left to right: Karla Diaz (Victims of Violence Attorney), Monica Khant (Executive Director), Mikaela Houghton (Office & Development Coordinator), Amir Naim (Asylum Attorney), Alpa Amin (Director of Legal Services), William Hoffmann (Senior Counsel) The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association THE ATLANTA LAWYER 15