Lawyers for Immigrant Youth

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Microsoft Corp., actress Angelina Jolie and 25 law firms and corporate law departments have formed an organization to assist the approximately 8,000 children who are separated from their families when they go through U.S. immigration proceedings each year.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) will provide pro bono legal counsel for the unaccompanied minors. Each year, about half of those minors are involved in proceedings without legal representation, according to KIND.

The program will focus on helping children in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle and Houston. The organization’s goal is to represent every unaccompanied minor by 2010, some 2,100 a year, in the areas where KIND is located.