Fighting for Immigrants’ Rights Earns Helen Parsonage ’06 “Xemplar” Award

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Xemplar® Online Publication Applauds NC Attorney

Fighting for Immigrants’ Rights Earns Helen Parsonage “Xemplar” Award

Durham, NC – January, 5 2012 – Today solo and small law attorneys represent two-thirds of lawyers in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal, yet they somehow remain overshadowed by big law attorneys. The Xemplar is dedicated to celebrating these attorneys and providing the recognition they deserve. Every month The Xemplar advisory board of respected and well-known legal peers selects one inspirational attorney to be honored for his/her contributions to the community. The “Xemplar” award recently honored Winston-Salem’s very own small practice attorney, Helen Parsonage, for helping struggling immigrants have a better quality of life in America by fighting the injustices and hardships they face.

Parsonage immigrated to the U.S. from Cambridge, England, so her passion for immigration law derives from this personal connection and her ability to identify with clients. She is drawn to cases in which people are struggling or petitioning for citizenship such as deportation and asylum cases. Parsonage has played a key role in the deportation cases surrounding the arrests of immigrants during recent chaotic Charlotte rallies, taking a firm stance in their defense. The NC Justice Center honored Parsonage’s firm with the Defenders of Justice award for their work on a high-profile asylum case involving a homosexual Armenian couple who faced possible execution in their native countries had the application for refuge been denied.

“I know what it feels like to be an immigrant, how frustrating it can be and how scary it is to have your life planned by, and dependent upon, bureaucrats who tell you where you can and cannot live your life,” said Parsonage during her interview with attorney and lead writer for The Xemplar, Nicole Black. “I’m devoted to keeping people out of jail one day at a time.”

Lyndie Benson
Rubberneck Media
211 Rigsbee Ave.
Durham, NC 27701