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Fordham Law‘s Feerick Center Awarded Emil Gumpert Award and Grant
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Fordham Law

Summary: The American College of Trial Lawyers awarded the Emil Grumpert Award to the Feerick Center for Social Justice for their efforts to help asylum-seeking women in Dilley, TX.

Fordham Law School announced the news that their Feerick Center for Social Justice had been honored by the American College of Trial Lawyers as the recipients of the 2018 Emil Gumpert Award.  The ACTL is recognizing the Center’s partnership with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, which provides pro bono legal counsel with asylum-seeking women with children in Dilley, Texas. The Center will be given the $100,000 grant during a ceremony on May 9 at Fordham Law School’s Lincoln Center campus, according to Business Wire.


Adjunct Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Feerick Center for Social Justice Dora Galactos said, “Since 2012, the numbers of women with children seeking asylum along the southern U.S. border have increased exponentially, and these asylum seekers have a legitimate need for legal services. On behalf of the Feerick Center and our partners at the Dilley Pro Bono Project, we are deeply grateful to the American College of Trial Lawyers for awarding us with the Emil Gumpert Award and Grant.”

Over 100,000 immigrant women and their children have sought asylum since 2012 along the southern U.S. border. The women have run from violence in their home countries in Central America. Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice noticed there was a large demand for legal aid and counsel to deal with these numbers. Through the partnership, they two organizations hope to enhance and expand access to legal services for those detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX.

The facility is the largest immigration detention facility in the U.S with 2.400 beds. There are currently 2,200 women and their children at the facility. Since its opening in December 2014, the Dilley Pro Bono Project believes that roughly 30,000 asylum-seekers have been detained there.

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President Samuel H. Franklin of the American College of Trial Lawyers added, “The work undertaken by the Dilley Pro Bono Project truly captures the spirit of the Emil Gumpert Award and advances the principle of maintaining and improving the administration of justice. We are proud to support the tireless and inspiring group of lawyers, volunteers and staff who dedicate their efforts, expertise and compassion towards furthering access to justice.”

The goal of the partnership is to improve the delivery of social justice. They plan to develop a model of remote legal assistance by supplementing the on-site efforts of volunteer attorneys and Dilley Pro Bono Project staff, especially with tasks like the “credible fear interview” process, which is the first screening process of the asylum application process.

The new model is designed to utilize technology in training and providing resources to pro bono attorneys. This should also help create best practices related to remote legal assistance by pro bono attorneys and create best practices through remote legal assistance to improve documentation and track asylum officer practices.

Do you think the award amount will make a big impact on the project’s efforts? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the awards other law schools are winning, read these articles:




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