Chicago-based Intellectual Property associate Yashas Honasoge was recently recognized as a 2019 Rising Star by the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), whose mission is to ensure human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through legal services, policy reform and public education. NIJC's 2019 Rising Star awards were presented during its 20th Annual Human Rights Awards, honoring associate or junior-level attorneys for their extraordinary commitment to ensuring access to justice for immigrants.

This year, Yashas was one of 10 attorneys awarded for his devotion to NIJC pro bono work and representing clients with complex immigration cases. In particular, Yashas worked with the NIJC in representing two individuals in asylum proceedings before the Immigration Court. Both clients were Eritrean citizens fleeing persecution—one on account of his religious beliefs, the other on account of his political opinion—who would have faced grave hardships if forced to return to Eritrea. With Yashas's help, they were both granted asylum and are now free to start their lives here in the United States.

Reflecting on his experience with the NIJC, Yashas stated, "Through the NIJC, I have had the opportunity to perform some of the most fulfilling work of my career. Being able to advocate for those in need and impact their lives in such a direct and meaningful way has been a truly rewarding experience." ("Congratulations to the 2019 Rising Stars," June 6, 2019)