LOS ANGELES – Public Counsel has named David Stanley as one of its 2021 Pro Bono Award recipients.

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Stanley, a partner in Reed Smith’s global Life Sciences Health Industry Group, was honored for his pro bono work with the Children’s Rights Project representing juveniles in guardianship and juvenile immigration cases.

According to a statement from Public Counsel, one of the nation’s largest public interest law firms, 2021 Pro Bono Award honorees extended “life-changing services to individuals, families, community partners, and businesses to help them access the justice they deserve.”

Stanley was highlighted for his pro bono work with the Children’s Rights Project in guardianship cases for undocumented children who were abandoned by their parents and now live with relatives in the United States. Stanley helps both the relatives in achieving guardianship and the children in obtaining special juvenile immigrant status, which is a pathway to permanent residency.

In 2020-2021, David handled one such case from start to finish involving an abandoned nine-year-old girl from Belize who had lost her father and sole caretaker to illness. Although a half-sister born in the United States requested guardianship of the girl, her path to protection was far from certain. Over the next one and a half years, David navigated the process while overcoming additional obstacles owing to the pandemic. Ultimately, he obtained special juvenile immigrant status and permanent residency for the girl, who is now living in the United States with her family and new guardian.

Public Counsel’s 2021 Pro Bono Award honorees and their stories will be featured at a virtual awards ceremony this coming December.

About the Children’s Right Project

Human Rights Watch established the Children’s Rights Project in April 1994 to work with the organization’s regional divisions and other thematic projects to uncover abuses that uniquely affect children and for which unique campaigning initiatives are required. The project deals with abuses carried out or tolerated by governments and also those perpetrated by armed opposition groups, such as the use of children as soldiers.