Dean Matthew Diller was quoted by Bloomberg Law Big Law Business about the pro bono efforts of New York-based law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher to support those affected by Trump’s executive order on immigration.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher New York-based partner Gordon R. Caplan learned about the case of Alma Kashkooli, a 12-year-old Iranian girl who was barred by the executive order from entering the United States, through a long-planned, unrelated meeting with the dean of his alma mater, Fordham Law School. Kashkooli, who had a visa to receive medical treatment in the United States for a rare genetic condition, is the daughter of Fahimeh Kashkooli, an LL.M. student studying human rights law at Fordham.
“Willkie immediately went into high gear in terms of organizing advocacy efforts around her,” said Matthew Diller, Fordham’s dean.
The firm mobilized its pro bono team to pursue diplomatic channels and litigation on the younger Kashkooli’s behalf. In the end, however, a temporary restraining order against the Trump administration issued on Feb. 3 by Seattle U.S. District Judge James L. Robart gave Willkie the window it needed to bring her home. Willkie associate Shaimaa M. Hussein traveled to Istanbul to meet Alma and bring her back to New York to her mother, who couldn’t leave the United States out of fear that she wouldn’t be able to return.
“This case hit particularly close to home,” said Hussein, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Egypt when she was 4-years-old. “Hearing Alma’s story and everything her mother went through to keep her safe — it reminded me of all the reasons my parents came here.”