MoForever Alumni News - Summer 2020

19 | MoForever Summer 2020 ALUMNI UPDATE PRO BONO The afternoon of March 24, 1980 was a defining moment for Laurie Joyce. That afternoon, the principal of her Catholic high school announced over the loudspeaker that Archbishop Óscar Romero had been assassinated. Laurie had admired Romero’s courage in speaking out against the U.S.-backed Salvadoran military. As a U.S. citizen, she felt in some way responsible for the atrocities in Central America and the resulting influx of refugees to the United States. Romero’s killing was her call to refugee work. Over the years that followed, Laurie built a career as an advocate for immigrant rights. Today, she continues to fight immigrant exploitation and advocate for low- income individuals as the pro bono network coordinator for Legal Aid of Marin in San Rafael, California. Following the Call to Public Interest Work Laurie’s early role as a commercial litigator at Morrison & Foerster (1988–1992) helped her prepare for the decades of public interest work that followed. After leaving MoFo, she spent the next 15 years serving the Catholic Legal Immigration Network in various roles. She represented adults and children in deportation proceedings, assisted immigrants with labor issues, advocated on the local and national level for reforms in detention laws and for improvement in detention conditions, and conducted trainings on deportation defense and other areas of immigration law to expand pro bono representation of detained persons. Now Laurie is one of five lawyers and five staff members who represent Marin County’s low-income residents, primarily in housing and employment matters. The residents have jobs in childcare and elder care, as store clerks, in building maintenance, and in the construction and restaurant industries. These residents are the same low-wage workers deemed “essential” in the COVID-19 pandemic. Laurie’s team joins forces with other Marin agencies whenever possible. Her office partnered with St. Vincent ADVOCATING FOR THE UNDERSERVED AND FIGHTING IMMIGRANT EXPLOITATION