I wrote a big post about all the bloviating lawyers, the agonizing smalltalk, and the collossal waste of time I spent in meetings over the weekend. But the only thing I truly care to write about is the pro bono awards.
The first award was given to a team of lawyers who’d succeeded in beating city hall and getting a methadone clinic built in a city that didn’t want it. The second involved getting a wrongful conviction overturned for a kid who had been living under political asylum after escaping a horribly violent African country at the age of three. While the bogus conviction was on appeal, ICE was getting ready to deport him, then 22, back to Sierra Leone. The legal team got the wrongful conviction overturned just in time, and he remains in this country, intent on becoming a Marine. This despite his being sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing $150, a crime he did not commit, and as a result, spending time in prison and an immigration detention facility. Yes, you heard that right: he doesn’t want to bomb a marathon now that he’s free. He wants to be a Marine.
They brought him to the banquet and he told us his story. Seeing the beaming smile on his face made the whole weekend. It made my whole weekend, anyway.