Pro Bono Model
Kids in Need of Defense UK is a collaboration between KIND, Inc., a US non-profit organisation serving migrant children with legal representation, and four UK not-for-profit immigration and children’s rights organisations: Central England Law Centre (which is leading the project); Coram Children’s Legal Centre, the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit at Islington Law Centre, and our Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre at JustRight Scotland.
In the US, KIND was founded by the Microsoft Corporation and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to create a pro bono movement of law firms, corporations, non-governmental organisations, universities and volunteers to provide high quality legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States. KIND serves as the leading organisation for the protection of unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in an immigration court without representation.
Kids in Need of Defense UK aims to translate the US pro bono model into the UK context. Ultimately, it aims to achieve a self-sustaining pro bono model of legal representation for migrant children and young people where there is inadequate, or no, legal aid representation available.
Kids in Need of Defense UK builds partnerships with law firms and businesses which will, in turn, provide lawyers who will give their time, pro bono, to children and young people in need of immigration and nationality legal advice and representation. Each host organisation will employ an experienced supervising immigration lawyer who will provide training and close support to the pro bono lawyers.
Kids in Need of Defense UK & JustRight Scotland
Kids in Need of Defense UK held its UK launch in March 2017 and is going from strength to strength; working with over 11 law firms across the UK. JustRight Scotland joined the collaboration in December 2017. With funding from Unbound Philanthropy and the Legal Education Foundation, we have established pro bono arrangements with two global commercial law firms.
We deliver comprehensive training for their highly skilled lawyers to provide advice and prepare immigration applications for migrant children and young people, with the aim of getting them “settled” status in the UK as quickly as possible. This is a key area we have identified as requiring specialist legal intervention.
The client group we serve is diverse in terms of a variety of complex immigration needs, their ages, and their geographical locations ranging from Edinburgh to Oban to Aberdeen. The Kids UK model in Scotland is therefore meeting a gap in capacity – it allows our supervising solicitors to work with more children than we would otherwise be able to – but it is also providing much needed advice in so-called “advice deserts” across Scotland.
If you wish to get involved with Kids in Need of Defense UK, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.