2013 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Amanda Pfeiffer

Amanda Pfeiffer

Name of Host Organization: Lone Star Legal Aid
City, State: Houston, Texas
Issue area: Family Law
Sponsors: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

The Project

Amanda provided family law services to refugees, human trafficking victims, and immigrant domestic violence victims who are seeking protective orders and divorces from their abuser and custody of their children.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Many families seeking assistance from immigration legal aid organizations are simultaneously in need of family law services for help with adoption, divorce, and child custody. This is particularly evident in Violence Against Women Act applications in which immigrant domestic violence victims are seeking legal status in the United States while also seeking a protective order or divorce from their abusive U.S.-citizen spouse and custody of any children. Establishing and growing a direct referral program between Lone Star Legal Aid and local immigration legal aid organizations will help to holistically meet the legal needs of both refugees resettling in Houston and the immigrant victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Fellowship Highlights: 
During her Fellowship, Amanda:
• Provided advice and brief service to nearly 70 immigrant domestic violence victims, supporting their right to apply for a protective order and file for divorce and child custody in Texas
• Provided full representation of nearly 40 immigrant clients on family law matters, parental rights termination, guardian-ship designation, protective orders, divorce and child custody
• Developed a direct referral program with Catholic Charities Center for Immigration Assistance, YMCA International, Kids in Need of Defense, and Casa Juan Diego Shelter

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