Immigration Law

Law firm is kind to KIND

"Over the past year, KIND has partnered with the law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP to complete an innovative pro bono effort designed to streamline KIND's operations and better equip its staff to carry out KIND's mission to help unaccompanied immigrant children navigate the U.S. immigration system.   This effort, called the SeyfarthLean approach, has enabled KIND's staff to deliver consistent, efficient, top quality services to unaccompanied children and pro bono attorneys.

"We wanted to use our innovative SeyfarthLean approach to legal services to benefit a vulnerable population and the lawyers who represent them," said Seyfarth Pro Bono and Philanthropy Partner Allegra Rich, who led the Seyfarth effort. "We love working on individual cases referred to us by KIND, but what was special about this project is that it was an opportunity for us to improve an entire system and, we hope, increase access to justice for the children KIND aims to serve."

SeyfarthLean is a new way of thinking about legal processes. It borrows from Six Sigma and other management techniques to help legal departments and businesses run more efficiently. It uses process mapping, root cause analysis, data and innovative technologies to help clients identify areas for improvement and achieve goals. This includes efficiency, consistency, quality and cost control.

Since KIND was founded in 2008, KIND has trained over 3,000 attorneys and has worked with more than 3,200 children across the United States. This project has helped KIND take a step back and look at the best practices across the entire organization. With the collaboration from KIND staff, and over several staff retreats and meetings, the result was a completed map of all essential phases that take place day to day; starting with the intake of the child, to the placement, mentoring, recruiting, and training of pro bono attorneys.   

Seyfarth was then able to take these phases and establish an extranet site that contains step-by-step maps of KIND's processes, with links to template documents and policy memos that can be called up on a computer screen instantly. The site also contains resources such as translated documents, links to helpful websites and a discussion board.

KIND Executive Director Wendy Young stated, "SeyfarthLean has already revolutionized the way we conduct our work on behalf of unaccompanied children. There is no question that this tool that Seyfarth developed for KIND will enable us to reach many more children in desperate need by helping us work more efficiently and consistently throughout our sites nationwide. SeyfarthLean is groundbreaking for KIND, and will help bring our work to an even higher level."

Rich added, "If this project helps even one additional child get legal assistance, it will have been worth it, and we hope it will do even more than that." " - KIND, Nov. 30, 2011.