Milbank Litigation associate Shirley Liang was honored as “Pro Bono Attorney of the Year” for her impressive efforts on behalf of vulnerable immigrant women and children at the Tahirih Justice Center’s Annual Gala in Washington, DC.
The nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center is a national organization that advocates for immigrant women and girls in the United States. As a first-year associate at Milbank in 2013, Ms. Liang spent three months working in Tahirih Justice Center’s Greater DC office as part of Milbank’s former Pro Bono Fellowship program. As her career as a litigator focusing on commercial litigation and financial restructuring has progressed, so too has her dedication to assisting pro bono clients seeking justice in the face of adversity through asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and T and U visas.
A primary focus of Ms. Liang’s work with Tahirih has been her successful advocacy on behalf of a woman who fled horrific domestic violence at the hands of her husband in her native Egypt. After fleeing the physically and emotionally abusive arranged marriage in 2013 and coming to Virginia on a student visa, the client sought help from Tahirih in petitioning for asylum for herself and her children. A team including Ms. Liang, associate Julie Wolf and partner Andrew Leblanc assisted with these successful petitions. The team went on to help secure green cards for the client, her 14-year-old daughter and her 12-year-old son.
While these successful outcomes for her client have been satisfying, Ms. Liang says she has also been inspired by the woman’s perseverance and self-advocacy. “While there is no question that she has suffered, she has always taken it upon herself to seek out the resources to keep her children safe,” she says. “I admire her persistence and strength, which is common to so many of Tahirih’s clients, and I’m honored to be recognized for the work that we’ve done together.”