August 12, 2019

KIND Features Associate Rocio Portela-Berrios in Pro Bono Attorney Spotlight


Milbank associate Rocio Portela-Berrios was featured by KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), a nonprofit organization that advocates for the rights of children in immigration proceedings, in its monthly Pro Bono Attorney Spotlight.

Ms. Portela-Berrios, of Milbank’s Global Project, Energy and Infrastructure Finance Group in New York, served as a volunteer translator for KIND’s pro bono attorneys while in law school, and went on to contribute her skills to the organization pro bono as soon as she became a practicing attorney. “I had seen firsthand what a difference being represented by an attorney in immigration court could make for the children’s cases and I wanted to lend my resources, experience and language skills to KIND clients,” she says in the Q&A.

In the interview, Ms. Portela-Berrios discusses her representation of a young KIND client from Guatemala in the client’s application for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. “Working with children will open your eyes to view the world with the innocence they do,” she says. “While it can be emotionally draining, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you are contributing to helping a child get a chance at a safer life.”

Read more of the interview, including Ms. Portela-Berrios’ advice for attorneys taking on their first pro bono case, on KIND’s website.

Milbank, recently ranked 7th for Breadth of Commitment on The American Lawyer’s Pro Bono Scorecard, works on a variety of pro bono matters advocating for young people. Click here to learn more about pro bono at Milbank.