Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project salutes local law firm

A view of the staff at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. (Submitted photo)

A view of the staff at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. (Submitted photo)

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project has named Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie as its Law Firm Partner of the Year in recognition of the firm’s long-standing pro bono support.

The Florence Project also presented firm attorney Brian Kim with the Children’s Program Pro Bono of the Year award for persevering through difficult cases, according to a press release. Awards were presented in Phoenix on Sept. 1.

The Florence Project is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to men, women and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona. It was created in 1989 in response to concerns over the absence of a public defender system for detained indigent immigrants, which threatened their statutory and constitutional rights.

“Pro bono service is in our firm’s DNA. While some may shy away from unpopular or tough matters, we believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity for justice,” said Managing Partner Kenneth Van Winkle Jr in a prepared statement.

“We as a firm support those who provide the time and energy to do this important work, and are proud to partner with the Florence Project. It’s an honor to be recognized as Law Firm Partner of the Year.”

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie has supported the nonprofit since the project’s start, when attorney Chris Brelje spent a year establishing the organization. Today, the Florence Project provides free legal services to the more than 3,000 people detained on any given day in detention facilities in Florence and Eloy and more than 1,400 children detained in shelters in Phoenix and Tucson.

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