The Florence Project is thrilled to announce that we’ve hired our first ever dedicated Appellate Attorney, Kari Hong!

In this new role on our Advocacy Team, Kari will greatly advance our mission to achieve more favorable case law for immigrants in removal proceedings. She has amazing experience representing cases in front of the Ninth Circuit and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) — two courts where published decisions can create precedent that effectively changes the law.

“I’m both humbled and excited to challenge wrongful decisions, and pursue appeals that if successful can impact hundreds, even thousands of people,” Kari says.  “After working as a pro bono volunteer for so many years, I really feel at home finally being an official member of the Florence Project family.”  As one of many examples of how Kari’s amazing work can help shape immigration law for the better, in May of 2021, she won an en banc case in the Ninth Circuit, “Cheneau v. Garland,” in which she convinced the full court to reverse prior precedent and follow a new rule expanding the rights of children of naturalized U.S. citizens to automatically become U.S. citizens themselves.

We thank our supporters for making this Appellate Attorney position possible. Together, while advocating for one person, we will improve the rules for all immigrants threatened with deportation.

With your continued support, we aspire to develop a full appellate team in the near future.

Kari is uniquely qualified to help us make the goal of a full appellate team a reality. She has represented over 200 cases at the Ninth Circuit and 100 of those people were former Florence Project clients. As a professor at the Boston College Law School, she founded and supervised a program in which law students argued Ninth Circuit appeals under her supervision. In her new role, she can mentor and train Florence Project staff attorneys in appellate practice while also representing clients and drafting amicus briefs on issues of importance to Florence Project clients. She is a true force multiplier.

In 2019, the Florence Project awarded Kari Hong the “Pro Bono Attorney of the Year.” We’re incredibly grateful that, in our new Appellate Attorney role, she will now advocate for Florence Project clients and goals full time.