Thirty-one McGuireWoods professionals collaborated with four other large firms and several nonprofits on a pro bono effort that helped more than 50 Afghan women soldiers file their U.S. asylum applications.
These members of the Afghan Female Tactical Platoon (FTP), who served alongside U.S. special operations forces, entered the United States after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August 2021. Lawyers from McGuireWoods, Paul Hastings, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Vedder Price answered the call and joined forces for this important pro bono initiative. More than 100 lawyers contributed resources and expertise to finish the applications and safeguard the soldiers’ rights ahead of the one-year asylum application deadline.
“The women who served in the Female Tactical Platoon risked their lives to serve their country and to assist ours,” said Richmond associate Sarah Bennett, who leads McGuireWoods’ involvement. “It has been an honor to work with these clients and to see the willingness of lawyers in our firm and other large law firms to use their legal skills to assist many deserving families.”
Next, the group of law firms — now labeled the Afghan Legal Task Force — will meet with the Afghan women soldiers and the U.S. soldiers who served alongside them to prepare for their asylum interviews.
The American Lawyer highlighted these collaborative pro bono efforts in an Aug. 22, 2022, story. Politico also published an article on the FTP members and their U.S. military counterparts earlier this year.