“I like to imagine a law firm where I could pick clients who cook, and I could get paid in all that fabulous food,” jokes Volunteer Attorney Monica Devens. In her years as an immigration attorney, Monica has assisted clients from more than fifty-five countries. “That’s a lot of good food,” she laughs.
While Monica enjoys interacting with the multicultural community that IIBA serves, it’s a commitment to justice that drives the work she does here. “I’m an advocate for getting people what they deserve under the law. I don’t feel I’m being political. I’m just being fair.”
Monica began volunteering at IIBA in 2009, after leaving her position at a law firm. “I am not any different at IIBA than I would be at a firm,” she explains, “but I feel more appreciated for being who I am here. It’s a much more human interaction. I didn’t get hugged by my clients when I worked at a firm. I didn’t get told ‘You’re the only person in the world I trust.’” At IIBA, “Clients understand we have their best interests at heart.”
When Monica says, “I’m very proud of this place. We do a lot of good work here,” she’s not just referring to her clients’ ninety-eight percent approval rate. “We are responsible for a lot of good training, especially with our law student summer interns.” Through IIBA’s intern program, “We contribute to the education level of what’s out there.”
When we ask people to support IIBA, Monica says, “We ask them to pay for justice.” Thanks to the backing of donor contributions, the hard work of staff members, and the dedication of volunteers like Monica Devens, IIBA’s clients are realizing their dreams of residency, citizenship, and justice under the law.