Pro Bono Divorce Lawyers Michigan

Heidi Naasko - Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel  February 5, 2015 – 06:51 pm
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Boston University, J.D., cum laude

University of Michigan, B.A.

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Ms. Naasko is Dykema's National Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel. In addition to administering the program and mentoring lawyers in various areas of public interest law, she maintains a substantive poverty law practice. Her case load includes representation of unaccompanied immigrant children who are child victims of human trafficking and have either been victims of crime in their country of origin or in the United States. She also represents domestic violence survivors in divorce, child custody, immigration matters, and personal protection orders.

In her role as Pro Bono Counsel, she leverages the Firm's resources to satisfy the unmet legal needs of the community. In 2008, Michigan-based legal service providers identified a burgeoning crisis of unrepresented and abused or neglected immigrant children. This was because when only a handful of lawyers were skilled to represent these children and none of the children had the resources to hire an attorney. Dykema, under Ms. Naasko's direction, was the first large law firm to volunteer attorneys and coordinate training, and she then called upon other members of the legal community to respond to this unmet need. As a result, in 2010, there are more attorneys ready to accept these cases than there are children needing counsel in Michigan.

In 2009, Ms. Naasko developed, designed and directs the Dykema Free Legal Aid Clinic. Hosted at the Ferndale High School and open to parents and students of the High and Middle schools, the clinic is geared to respond to the unmet legal needs that may impede a student's success. It is the first of its kind in Michigan to be run exclusively by a private law firm.

Ms. Naasko also works closely with Dykema's business clients to create pro bono partnerships with a focus on identifying relevant, succinct and high-profile opportunities. Most recently, as the national economy plummeted, she conceptualized a Crisis Clinic for Detroit-Based Nonprofits, where private attorneys meet with nonprofits to respond or resolve their crises. This initiative was later implemented into a partnership between Dykema, Community Legal Resources and Ford Motor Company Office of the General Counsel. In 2007, the GM Legal Department and Dykema lawyers performed legal audits for fledgling nonprofits in Detroit. Later in 2008, Ms. Naasko launched a second partnership between Dykema, GM, Children's Hospital of Michigan and Legal Aid and Defender Association to provide child patients and their families legal assistance in the areas of landlord/tenant and appeals for Supplemental Social Security Income.

Source: www.dykema.com


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