Passages of Hope andJustice 11 Immigration clinics for Haiti On January 12, 2010, many of us tried to fathom the devastation wreaked on Haiti by the catastrophic earthquake.Within hours, Sue Finegan, chair of the Pro Bono Committee, and Jeff Goldman, manager of the Immigration Practice, were already asking how Mintz Levin could help. Plans came into focus when President Obama granted Temporary Protective Status (TPS), a rarely used discretionary power that would allow Haitian nationals who were already residents in the U.S. to remain here for 18 months and, more importantly, to work in the U.S. to support their families. Mintz Levin decided to work with Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston to help the Haitian community understand the TPS process. As one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities offers nearly 140 programs and services.Within a week, Mintz Levin participated in the firstTPS clinic at a Haitian community center. “We had to quickly master the TPS regulations, and use the full strength of our Immigration Practice,” Jeff says.The Mintz Levin team spent days studying the law, participating in critically important Homeland Security teleconferences, and developing strategies.They were also called on to train volunteers from law firms all over Massachusetts, and to speak and write about this specialized aspect of immigration law. Mintz Levin was even able to advise senior immigration officials on potential problems that applying for TPS could trigger for their Haitian clients, persuading officials to provide clearer information and guidance to the public. “I’m especially proud of that,” Jeff adds. By the end of March, Mintz Levin and Catholic Charities had worked together on 10TPS clinics, where more than 730 Haitians were counseled on eligibility and the application process; more clinics were conducted in May and June. In the end, every member of Mintz Levin’s Immigration Practice—10 attorneys and nine paralegals— had participated in this effort. From Despair to Hope “ We gathered in Dorchester at the first clinic not completely sure what to expect; we simply let our collective commitment to serve guide us.” – Marjean Perhot Director, Refugee and Immigration Services Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston