Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Frequently Asked Questions

What is KIND?

KIND is an important new children’s rights initiative started by Microsoft Corp. and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie with the mission of providing pro bono legal counsel to unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States so that they are treated fairly and compassionately in our immigration system.

Why was KIND established?

U.S. law provides no appointed counsel for unaccompanied children in immigration court proceedings. Without benefit of pro bono counsel, these children face difficulties in understanding the legal proceedings and legal options that may be available to them. This also creates added challenges for government attorneys and immigration judges who must evaluate these cases. Immigrant children who receive pro bono legal assistance, however, are more likely to experience favorable consideration from the court for asylum in the U.S.

What is the goal of KIND?

In the locations where KIND operates, to ensure that every child who arrived in the U.S. unaccompanied has legal representation while in immigration proceedings, and to help make sure they receive fair treatment within our immigration system.

How does KIND intend to achieve these goals?

Follow the Need: KIND is dedicated to serving the children that face the immigration system alone, with a specific focus on the regional areas that need it the most, in locations with the most legal resources available.

Create a Small but Flexible Infrastructure: KIND will develop a robust infrastructure of pro bono coordinators and paralegals to assign, monitor, mentor, and coordinate legal representation provided by some of the nation’s leading law firms and corporate law departments.

Build Public Awareness and Support: KIND will advocate for changes in U.S. law so the rights of unaccompanied children are protected.

Where is KIND?

For the first year, KIND will be in:

  • Los Angeles

  • Seattle

  • Houston

  • Boston

  • New York

  • Newark

  • Baltimore

  • Washington, D.C.

  • Philadelphia

How can I get involved in KIND?

KIND needs volunteers from all areas of the legal profession, and translators for many different languages.

What else can firms do to help?

There are many opportunities to help. Among them are:

  • Providing legal counsel and advice through presentations and counsel to explain procedures, rights, and interviews to screen children for possible eligibility for immigration relief.

  • Conducting interviews to screen children for possible eligibility for immigration relief.

  • Working with KIND to host group workshops for children with common claims for relief from removal.

  • Conducting outreach activities to unaccompanied children and their family members at schools, churches, and other community locales to educate them about unaccompanied children’s rights and remedies.

  • Performing research and analysis.

  • Providing legal services to children through various activities.

Why is KIND partnering with Angelina Jolie?

By partnering with Ms. Jolie, KIND will build on her extensive history of accomplishments as a Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and on her long-standing commitment to providing free legal aid to unaccompanied children as young as toddlers who lack any legal representation.

Law Firm, Corporate Legal Department Questions:

Will Microsoft or KIND be providing training and or necessary meetings to get pro bono lawyers info to get involved?

Yes, KIND will offer training, mentoring and coaching through the regional pro bono coordinators, as well through a network of experienced KIND fellows.

We are interested in donating office space; will this also be counted towards the donation/giving tier?

Yes, donating office space will count towards a KIND giving tier. Please contact a KIND representative; they will be able to explain your giving options.

What if the donation/giving amount does not reach the 3rd tier level but we want to participate? Will we still be recognized?

While those firms who have committed to a Founder, Champion, or Partner level will receive special nationwide recognition in return for their support, KIND will work to recognize all of those who have shown their support.

Does KIND offer mal-practice insurance?

Yes, KIND does offer mal-practice insurance in addition to your current coverage.

Will KIND be co-counsel on the cases?

No, KIND will not act as a co-counsel on the cases. However, the KIND pro bono coordinator will help in any way possible to make sure each lawyer has the support they need, including attending hearings.

I have no experience in immigration, how can I help?

It is not necessary to have experience in immigration, or in litigation, in order to take on a case. KIND pro bono coordinators will provide you with training and support you need.

For Donor/Supporter questions:

Can I earmark my donation for a specific country’s refugee children?

KIND works to support children in need from all areas of the world. KIND is not currently set up to receive donations for specific cases or countries.

I am not in the legal profession but want to volunteer my time. What can I do?

Local KIND offices often need volunteers to help with general office duties. Contact your local KIND office to see how you can help.

Is my time and/or cash donation tax deductible?

Yes, KIND is a registered 501 (c) 3 and your donations are tax deductible.

Why don’t you support adult refugees?

While KIND recognizes the need for all refugees to receive assistance, we believe that children are the least equipped to help themselves once they are detained.

I’m interested in a planned gift to KIND, what are my options?

There are many gift options available to you, including IRA’s, charitable gift annuities, and bequests. Please contact your closest KIND office for details.