Nancy Aeling, Esq., 2019 Distinguished Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

Each year, Casa Cornelia Law Center honors those who have made an outstanding contribution in meeting the legal needs of victims of human and civil rights violations. This year, Nancy Aeling, Esq. has been chosen as the 2019 Distinguished Pro Bono Attorney of the Year! Nancy Aeling is a highly skilled attorney with over 12 years of experience in employment litigation.

She came to the Law Center in 2016 as a Volunteer Attorney and has provided counsel and legal representation to numerous asylum seekers through Casa Cornelia’s Pro Bono program. In 2018 alone, Nancy completed 411 hours of pro bono legal work, serving children, women and men who flee persecution, and seek hope and humanitarian protection in the United States.

“Freedom is such a beautiful word.”

In 2018, Nancy wrote a reflection on her first case whereby she assisted a mother and daughter who fled their native Eritrea to avoid persecution and imprisonment for seeking information on the death of a family member. Nancy is known for her charisma and initiative. She dives right into representation and is a zealous advocate for her clients. She is fearless when faced with any uncertainty, barriers or procedural challenges, and always, remains focused in moving her cases forward. Oftentimes, Nancy rearranges her schedule to meet with her clients at the detention facility, provide legal advice, and comfort them in person. It is her unique combination of legal acumen and human compassion, which makes her such an exemplary volunteer. Unwavering in her commitment, Nancy has taken on cases for Cameroonian clients fleeing the country’s severe civil conflict. Through Nancy, these clients have gotten to know each other and connect with one another. One of her clients, upon being released from detention, reflected that “Freedom is such a beautiful word.” Through her role as Board Member for Casa Cornelia, Nancy has championed our mission, provided her legal expertise and excellent leadership, and helped raise much-needed funds for the Law Center. We look forward to celebrating her at this year’s La Mancha Awards on October 19. Nancy has a B.A. in Archeology from UCLA, a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati, and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is a former adjunct faculty member at New York University. Nancy, thank you for always going above and beyond, and congratulations!