Family Law Newsletter Spring 2013: Pro Bono Spotlight

By Carlos A. Maycotte

KIND is a national organization that matches volunteer attorneys with unaccompanied minors who have come into this country without documentation. These children arrive in the U.S. alone, escaping terrible circumstances at home; they are often abused or abandoned by their parents and persecuted by gangs, living in conditions of utmost poverty and neglect. Their condition is so untenable that they would rather undertake long, dangerous trips to cross the border illegally, with no guidance or safeguards. Many of these children are detained at the border, do not have a right to appointed legal representation, and face an intimidating and highly complex immigration system. Pro bono attorneys who volunteer with KIND work with these children to help them secure legal status by navigating the existing federal structure relating to immigration. Federal law has created a mechanism whereby, if certain statutory requirements are met, a green card is granted to children facing these circumstances. KIND volunteer attorneys help children by shepherding them through this federal framework and working within the system to protect their interests.

In the past two years, I have taken on five cases with KIND and have been able to secure, with the help of fellow attorneys at our and other firms, green cards on four of those five cases. The remaining case is still active, but we do expect to successfully obtain a green card for the minor involved. Working on these cases is extremely rewarding. I had the opportunity - at a very early stage of my career- to drive a case, brief it, argue it, and see it through. More importantly, however, I was able to work for a great cause and see our efforts thoroughly rewarded in the best way possible -- by getting children green cards so that they can escape terrible conditions at home, stay in the United States, and flourish. One of the kids in my cases did not even speak English when he came to the U.S. Now, he is taking AP classes and applying to college. With his green card, he qualifies for financial aid, and his dream is that much closer. It truly is rewarding work, and I encourage others to help further this great cause.

Carlos A. Maycotte is a graduate of Boston University School of Law (J.D., 2010) and Cornell University (B.A., in English and in Government, 2007). At Cornell, Carlos completed the Law and Society concentration and also served as the editor of the opinion section for The Cornell Daily Sun, where he also wrote a weekly column for three years. In law school, Carlos was a member of the Latin American Law Student Association and performed as an advocate in the Edward C. Stone Moot Court Competition. He was also a member of the criminal clinic, working as a student defender in both Boston Municipal Court and Boston Juvenile Court and, later, as a student prosecutor in Quincy District Court.

Born and raised in Mexico, Carlos is a native Spanish speaker. He is also fluent in Italian and German. At Sally & Fitch LLP, Carlos concentrates on international arbitration and litigation, business litigation, bank litigation and general civil litigation.

Carlos is admitted to practice in both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and New York State.