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February 14, 2018
Law360 (February 14, 2018, 11:30 AM EST) -- After enduring years of physical and sexual abuse in Honduras, two teenage sisters with big dreams to help others in their new lives were recently granted asylum in the U.S., following three years of pro bono advocacy by a team of attorneys at Polsinelli.

The team of attorneys, led by partner Mary McKelvey, say they worked for three years, gaining the girls’ trust, helping them tell their harrowing story to a court, and witnessing them glow with happiness and confidence after being granted asylum last July. The sisters have expressed that they want to help others in their lives in the U.S.— one hopes to become a doctor and the other a lawyer.

McKelvey explained that the trust element was a huge factor in the team’s ability to win asylum, a difficult task when working with teenagers who had been repeatedly abused and traumatized, according to court documents.

“You can have a team of good lawyers, but you have to have a team of good people too,” she said. “We had great people on this team and it was so important because so much of this is trust building and being able to be compassionate in addition to being good lawyers.”

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