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Representing Children in Immigration Matters 2018: Effective Advocacy and Best Practices

Author(s): Maureen Ketler Schad, Wendy Wylegala
Practice Area: Immigration, Pro Bono
Published: Sep 2018
PLI Item #: 233356
CHB Spine #: 128

Maureen Ketler Schad is Pro Bono Senior Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright, where she litigates and supervises immigration and family law cases and manages the firm’s pro bono initiatives.  In 2014, in collaboration with a wide range of community partners and legal service organizations, including The Legal Aid Society, The Door, Catholic Charities, AILA, Safe Passage Project, Central American Legal Assistance, and KIND, she helped create ICARE, to coordinate a response to the “surge” dockets in NYC and ensure access to legal representation as well as school and health care enrollment information for as many immigrant children as possible.  She currently serves on the ABA's Commission on Immigration, the New York State Advisory Council on Immigration Issues in Family Court, and the NYC Bar Association's Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee.

Maureen was previously a Senior Staff Attorney at The Door’s Legal Services Center, where she represented youth for five years in a wide range of immigration and family court proceedings.  She graduated magna cum laude from New York University School of Law, where she worked with NYU’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, Make The Road New York, and The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Unit. From 2001-2004, Maureen worked at The Legal Aid Society as a public benefits and housing advocate.  Before that, she was a founding program coordinator of Project HEALTH/ Health Leads, creating legal and benefits resource centers for adolescents and families at public hospitals in Boston and New York.  She is a graduate of Harvard College.

Wendy Wylegala is Deputy Director for Legal Technical Assistance at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national non-profit organization that offers free legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children facing removal proceedings.  In this capacity, she designs legal training programs, writes practice guidance, and provides case-specific technical assistance to the legal staff of KIND’s ten field offices.  Wendy joined KIND in November 2008 as a pro bono coordinator, working in the Newark, NJ and New York, NY field offices.  In that capacity, she trained and mentored pro bono attorneys, and conducted intake interviews and know-your-rights programs for detained and released unaccompanied children.  Later she served as supervising attorney in the New York field office for four years until assuming her current role in January 2016.  Before joining KIND, Wendy was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, where her pro bono matters included special immigrant juvenile status cases.  Before attending law school, she was an Ombudsman at New York City’s Office of the Public Advocate.  She is admitted to practice in New York, and received her law degree from New York University School of Law, and her B.A. from Barnard College.  She is a member of the Pro Bono Committee of the New York City Chapter of AILA, and an affiliate member of the Immigration and Nationality Committee of the New York City Bar Association.