Olivia Singelmann, a senior counsel and litigation attorney in Foley’s Washington, D.C. office, was honored by the Tahirih Justice Center as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award. The annual award is presented to an outstanding pro bono attorney who has consistently demonstrated excellence and commitment to the protection of immigrant women and girls from violence.
Singelmann was honored for her pro bono work representing a client in asylum and T-visa proceedings. The client was abused by her mother and stepfather in Mexico as a child, forced into an arranged, common law marriage as a minor, abused by her partner, and upon escaping to the United States with her young son, was a victim of human trafficking. Singelmann first-chaired the client’s asylum trial in Baltimore Immigration Court in October 2018.
Despite a large portion of the case depending on precedent that had been recently overturned by the Trump administration regarding domestic violence, Singelmann prevailed for the client and the government did not appeal. The client also was awarded a T-Visa (for victims of human trafficking), and Singelmann is assisting the client with her application for a green card. Ybet Villacorta served a supervising partner on the matter.
Olivia exemplified the fierce advocacy and deep investment of her own personal talents needed in any advocate, said Kristen Strain, executive director, Baltimore area for the Tahirih Justice Center. “Your work with [the client], developing a close and meaningful relationship with her and undertaking various complex matters of relief, is an inspiration. Thank you for allowing [the client] to feel safe and empowered to take control of her own narrative during such an intense and overwhelming legal battle.”
The Tahirih Justice Center is the only national, multi-city organization providing a broad range of direct legal and social services, policy advocacy and training and education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence.