Mayer Brown announced today that the firm received the “Pro Bono Star” award from Human Rights First at its annual World Refugee Day. The award recognizes lawyers who “demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the cases for asylum or related forms of immigration protection that they take on a pro bono basis” through its program.

This year, Mayer Brown was honored for its work securing asylum for three teenage siblings (and a recommendation of approval for asylum for a fourth sibling) at the Arlington Asylum Office. The siblings fled Honduras and sought asylum in the US after several near-fatal encounters in response to their uncle’s vocal protests against a corrupt mayor’s appropriation of the city workers’ salaries for his own “legal defense fund.” The mayor was recently convicted of money laundering, though news reports indicate that he continues to conduct official city business from behind bars. Banking & Finance associates Sean G. Kulkarni and Christine Taverner (both New York) represented the family in asylum proceedings with supervision by Intellectual Property partner Alan Grimaldi (Washington DC) and support from Human Rights First.

Established over 30 years ago, Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York, Washington DC, Houston and Los Angeles.