Legal Advocacy


Women’s Rights

Rebecca photographed Leah, a lawyer for Jenner & Block, to showcase the firm’s pro-bono work with the National Immigrant Justice Center.

This is her story:

“We thought, we don’t know if they’re going to need us but what’s the harm? Get on the blue line, go to the airport and see.”

Leah Casto was getting ready for a Saturday night out with her husband when news broke that the president had issued an executive order banning travel from a handful of Muslim-majority countries.

A train ride later, Leah found herself in the center of the protest at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, working with a group of attorneys to pull together legal filings on behalf of detained individuals.

When the National Immigrant Justice Center reached out to Leah’s firm, Jenner & Block about a group of Eritrean women being detained, Leah jumped at the opportunity. Fiore, a twenty-three year old woman, was seeking asylum after her father was murdered and three of her siblings disappeared during mandatory military service.

“I had sleepless nights,” admits Leah. “In my mind, it was life or death if Fiore did not get asylum. [If] she was deported to Eritrea, she would certainly be imprisoned and killed.”

“The relief and happiness I felt when the judge finally said, ‘I am granting you asylum, you’ll be released tomorrow’ cannot match any experience that I’ve had in my life,” says Leah.

– Source: Chicago Foundation for Women Annual Report Read More