Volunteer Attorney Fatima Skimin understands the experiences of the immigrants she serves through the Clinic. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, as a girl, she received a French education, and later attended Law School in Montpellier, France. In the mid 1990s, however, Fatima chose to come to the U.S. as an international student.
An incredibly well-educated woman, she received her LL.M from Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. She then attended Loyola University College of Law New Orleans for her JD, passing the bar in both Indiana and Louisiana. Since that day fifteen years ago, Fatima has practiced Bankruptcy and Immigration Law.
In addition to her career, family is also extremely important to Fatima. She and her sister care for a third sister who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, serving as her full-time caregivers. Fatima also loves to visit her nephew, his wife, and their two children who live in Florida whenever she can.
Despite her incredibly demanding work and home life, Fatima chose to add something else to her schedule: volunteering. “I heard of the good job the Clinic does and I decided I wanted to be part of it: giving back to my community,” she says.
Legal Clinic Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Bloxsome has worked with Fatima for many years now and says that Fatima will often contact her to ask if there is anything that she can do to help. “She goes to her firm and does her pro bono work on Saturdays and Sundays. She builds it into her week,” says Kathleen. “It’s not something that she’s dreading doing—it’s something she looks forward to and is intentionally calendaring.”
Through her volunteer work, Fatima takes on many different types of pro bono cases, including Asylum, Naturalization, Adjustment of Status, Consular Processing, and Bankruptcy, among others. Although her primary work at the Clinic is legal, Fatima is also able to offer her interpretation and translation skills because she speaks four different languages: French, Moroccan Arabic, Spanish, and English. “It works out beautifully because she’s an attorney—she knows all the law—and then she knows all those languages,” says Kathleen. “So especially in immigration case types, she’s willing to interpret as well.”
For Kathleen, working with Fatima is always a huge joy. “I think she just really loves giving back and that it really fills her tank,” she says. “I find her servant’s heart and her desire to serve the community and to care for others really inspirational.”
Fatima, for her part, is grateful for the opportunity to use her abilities to assist others in need. “Volunteering gives me a sense of accomplishment. It makes my life meaningful. I learned compassion, hope, and respect for those who cannot help themselves.”
To learn more about volunteering for the Clinic, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Bloxsome at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.