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On June 18, 2014, New York associate Alexandra Megaris won for her pro bono client a provisional grant of asylum following a merits hearing before Judge Elizabeth Lamb in the Immigration Court in lower Manhattan. The client fled her native Tibet in 2011 after being persecuted by Chinese authorities on account of her Buddhist beliefs. Following an arduous journey from Tibet through Nepal and India, the client landed in Chicago without any identifying papers and was immediately detained by the Department of Homeland Security. She obtained release pending the government’s initiation of removal proceedings, and found her way to New York.

Ms. Megaris has represented the client for nearly three years and has had to work through numerous logistical challenges ranging from mercurial Tibetan interpreters to FOIA requests for Chinese language identification documents. The June 18, 2014 hearing was the culmination of these efforts as Ms. Megaris deftly elicited the client’s tragic story on direct examination, leading the government’s attorney to eschew any attempt to oppose the asylum application.