Dallas Managing Partner Mark Solomon, Corporate, and Associate Grace Caputo, White Collar Litigation, were each interviewed by The Texas Lawbook about the Dallas office's standout pro bono work in 2023, as well as Grace's recognition at Katten's Annual Pro Bono Service Awards for her efforts to help secure asylum for a mother and her two young children fleeing gang violence in El Salvador.

In her Q&A, Grace describes the asylum case in more detail, explaining that Katten partnered with McDonald's Corporate Vice President and Associate General Counsel Denise Horne on the matter involving a woman who had endured years of abuse from her partner and the father of her children, followed by alleged stalking and death threats from his gang after he was imprisoned for murder. In her first year of practicing law, Grace helped obtain "an extraordinary outcome" at the case's merit hearing, where the judge granted asylum to the client and both of her children. The government then waived its appeal.

"It has always been important for me to help people in any way I can. It is the No. 1 reason I wanted to become a lawyer," Grace said. "It was also meaningful for me, as a woman, to stand up against domestic violence and machismo culture." She added that she is currently working on several other pro bono matters, including another asylum case for a man fleeing homophobic persecution in Ghana and an election fraud case.

In a separate Q&A, Mark praised Grace's passion for pro bono work. "Grace's ongoing work on a variety of asylum cases reflects the firm's dedication to helping others like struggling refugees," he said. "[She] has made it clear that her pro bono service is a lifelong commitment and passion."

Mark also highlighted the Dallas office's other pro bono successes last year, including its work to help the Jewish Family Service of Greater Dallas establish a medical clinic to expand its services in the North Texas community, a diaper drive for the Hope Supply Co, and the formation of the nonprofit Food for the Cities, an organization which provides food, education support and supplies for the homeless as well as teachers and students at low-income schools.

"A Pro Bono Star is Born at KattenThe Texas Lawbook, February 9, 2024