Kaitlin Kalna Darwal

2021 Marjorie E. Kettell Distinguished Alum Award

Named in memory and honor of Dr. Marjorie E. Kettell, Class of 1947, this award is presented annually to bestow institutional recognition on one Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House alumna who has distinguished herself in her personal or professional life, in her intellectual pursuits, or in her dedication to service of community, country or society.

Kaitlin has developed innovative models to expand the availability of immigration legal services by leveraging available resources in the private bar. Prior to co-founding ILD in 2019, Kaitlin worked in leadership at two Bay Area non-profit organizations, Centro Legal de la Raza and Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (“CLSEPA”). Kaitlin built strong and effective partnerships with private law firms committed to pro bono immigration work. Kaitlin has trained and mentored hundreds of law firm associates and partners working on defensive asylum, affirmative asylum, and U Visa cases, giving strategic advice drawn from her own extensive experience representing clients in removal defense cases.

Kaitlin developed a unique clinic model that allows non-profits to serve a high volume of asylum seekers and applicants for humanitarian relief by utilizing law firm volunteers. Kaitlin’s commitment to cultivating and supporting volunteers has not been limited to attorneys. She also helped create and manage a Volunteer Interpreter Project and Pro Bono Mental Health Project, both of which enable clients to access services that are essential to their immigration cases. Kaitlin has also worked as a deportation defense attorney at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, an attorney with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the U.S. Legal Unit, and a contract attorney with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and the CSS/Newman Special Master of Appeals.

Kaitlin received her law degree at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from Boston University.

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