“My experience volunteering as a pro bono attorney with AI Justice has been one of the most rewarding of my professional life. Angeliki [Bouliakis Andronis, Director of AI Justice’s Pro Bono Program] trained me, matched me with an incredible unaccompanied youth placed in my area in southwest Florida, and she and her colleagues have mentored and supported me every step of the way. I can’t say enough about the outstanding level of professionalism, compassion, and dedication by Angeliki and her colleagues in the face of such difficult and exhausting challenges.
Having concentrated much of my professional experience in child advocacy and family law, applying this experience to pro bono children’s immigration cases has been truly unique. On the one hand, my child-centered approach and knowledge of Florida’s state court juvenile dependency and family laws has been helpful and instructive as I approach issues facing unaccompanied youth and separated children. On the other hand, I am outraged daily by the sheer lack of accessibility and understandability in the opaque world of federal immigration law. I am constantly thinking that even as an experienced attorney, I find it extremely difficult to understand the relevant procedures and laws. There is absolutely no way for non-English speakers (children) with limited education to navigate the process without competent assistance. I think that realization has been my biggest surprise during this process.
I am thankful to have found AI Justice and hopeful that I can continue to assist with their important work for the foreseeable future.”
Rebecca Beddow graduated from U.F. with a B.S. in Journalism in 1991 and received her J.D. from Nova University Law School in 1996. She is passionate about child advocacy and have spent much of her professional career in the public sector, practicing in juvenile, family, and civil law in a variety of roles. She is also a trained mediator, a qualified Parenting Coordinator, a certified Guardian ad Litem, and a qualified Collaborative Professional. In 2015, she started private practice as a sole practitioner to devote more time to child advocacy and family issues.
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