Tahirih’s Houston Office Continues Strong Growth

Posted September 14, 2011

After less than two years, Tahirih’s Houston office continues to grow community relationships that build service capacity to immigrant women and girls.

Staff Moves into New Rented Office Space

Houston Director Anne ChandlerIn June 2011, Tahirih’s Houston office signed a lease and moved into rented office space in the Galleria neighborhood of Houston. Tahirih made this move with the help of many individuals and companies—all of whom generously donated their services and helped secure office furniture for our new space. We’d like to thank:

We are deeply grateful to St. Joseph Medical Center; Akin Gump LLP; Houston Advisory Council member Marty McVey, President of McVey & Associates LLC; and Houston Advisory Council member Chris LaFollette for their support and the donation of space which incubated Tahirih’s Houston office through our formative 18 months in the community.

Tahirih will host an Open House to introduce the community to our new space on November 17, 2011 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. We hope to see you there!

The new office will be located at 1717 St. James Place, Suite 320, Houston, TX 77056. Phone: 713-496-0100; Fax: 713-481-1793.

Two Fellows Will Join Tahirih’s Team

Tahirih’s Houston office is pleased to welcome two new legal fellows: Robine Morrison, a Winston & Strawn Law Fellow, and Jessica L. Howton, a Notre Dame Fellow.

Robine Morrison, a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and a Houston native, is working as a full-time Winston & Strawn Law Fellow at Tahirih assisting our Immigration Law Pro Bono Project during the fall of 2011. She is a part of Winston & Strawn’s recently created fellowship program intended to develop the skills of incoming associates and encourage their participation in public interest work while helping out local legal aid groups. We are thrilled to have Robine working with us, and look forward to furthering Winston & Strawn’s contribution to pro bono legal aid.

Jessica L. Howton
will be the beneficiary of the new, highly competitive Notre Dame Fellows program “designed to help launch long-term public service careers for Notre Dame Law School graduates who have the potential to make a difference in their communities.” Beginning on December 15, Jessica will spend her two-year fellowship working as an immigration staff attorney in Tahirih’s Houston office, providing direct representation to immigrant and refugee women and girls fleeing violence. She will also be updating materials for the pro bono attorneys who volunteer their expertise in the representation of Tahirih’s clients and improving educational outreach programs for local immigrant communities. In her application for the position, Jessica stated, “The women and girls that my proposed [fellowship] project will serve comprise one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. My project would allow me to use my Notre Dame education to be their voice and promote their human dignity against the discrimination, violence, and ignorance they currently struggle against.” We are excited to welcome Jessica to Tahirih’s team and look forward to her supporting the courage of our clients.

View Notre Dame’s press release about Jessica and its other Fellows

Events Show Community Support for Houston Office

July 12th Houston eventOver the summer, the Houston community hosted two events to support the Tahirih Justice Center and raise local awareness about the women and girls we serve and the issues they face.

On June 30, Houston Director Anne Chandler presented a Continuing Legal Education reception sharing information with the legal committee on the issues of human trafficking in Houston and the need for legal services for immigrant women and girls fleeing violence. Nearly 100 Tahirih clients, pro bono attorneys, and friends attended. The evening was hosted by Texas Women Lawyers and the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend.

On July 12, Board of Directors’ member Kelley Jennings generously hosted an event at the Houston Club introducing the Legal Subcommittee of the Tahirih Justice Center’s Advisory Council of Houston. Remarks were provided by Advisory Council of Houston members and Legal Subcommittee Co-Chairs Mitch Gibbons (Jones Day) and Lydia Protopapas (Weil, Gotshal, & Manges). Local firms and corporations, including representatives of Jones Day; Marathon Oil; Mayer Brown; Skadden; Vinson & Elkins; Watt Beckworth Thompson Henneman & Sullivan LLP; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and Winston & Strawn attended the event. Half of attendees later agreed to join the Legal Subcommittee as attorney advocates for Tahirih.

This article is a part of Tahirih’s September 2011 newsletter.