Rivas named partner at Cramer & Anderson
“Attorney Rivas joined Cramer & Anderson six years ago as a young Associate and we knew from the first day she would be an important member of the team,” said Partner Dan Casagrande.
“Her work for clients and on cases is meticulous, but it’s also only the beginning of her inspiring attributes,” Casagrande said. “Attorney Rivas summons creativity, innovation and sheer willpower in addressing important issues that affect the lives of so many through her volunteer work and community leadership roles.”
“She goes above and beyond, has a tangible positive impact, and inspires colleagues to seek opportunities outside the office to effect positive change,” he said.
Casagrande said he presented Rivas with the Pro Bono Award during the Law Day events in Danbury in 2017.
“I am honored to join such a group of well-respected partners, who have always been very supportive of me and what I do,” Attorney Rivas said.
“They encourage zealous representation while being respectful, and they have always encouraged us to be active in the community and to give back, which is very important to me. I am also proud to be the first Latina partner. That means a lot to me personally,” he said.
Attorney Rivas, who is bilingual, has made it a priority to work in difficult areas of Immigration Law that help clients who might otherwise have nowhere to turn.
For example, she offers a low-fee structure to clients pursuing U visas as victims of qualifying crimes.
Despite a long, slow process that can stretch on for three to four years, she is committed to this reduced-fee work because U visas could be the only option for a lot of people.
Attorney Rivas handles cases involving Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) Status, the program designed to help foreign children in the U.S. who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both parents—and she has been successful in fighting the deportation of immigrant children in such situations.
Outside the office, Attorney Rivas is a tireless advocate for the community of immigrants in western Connecticut, providing legal guidance to newcomers about their rights and obligations on the path to U.S. citizenship, as well as giving numerous free presentations at churches, schools, and nonprofit centers on immigration-related topics.
From the moment she began practicing law, Attorney Rivas has been a Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury volunteer. In that role she initiated a citizenship course that began as an annual program but quickly became so vital and popular it was offered four times annually.
The goal now for Attorney Rivas is to expand the classes to other towns in the Greater Danbury region and New Milford in order to increase the reach of an effort that ends up minting new U.S. citizens, giving them hope, and putting them on a path to success.
Attorney Rivas is expanding those efforts with the 2020 election on the horizon in order to get as many people naturalized as possible so they can vote and have a voice in the communities and country where they work, pay taxes, and contribute to the diverse richness of life.
Through the Hispanic Center and other local organizations, Attorney Rivas also gives free talks on issues such as government benefits and drivers’ licenses, geared to the perspective of those who want to become citizens.
She presented a recent talk on more serious matters in Kent, where ICE officers were detaining people, and a similar free presentation is in the works for Danbury.
In the past year, she has participated in events for parents of students attending Rogers Park Middle School and Ellsworth Avenue Elementary School.
Those who attend are reminded of the risks of circulating publicly and being detained, and informed of their options, which include selecting a standby guardian in case they are detained by DHS or an ICE agent.
These presentations by Attorney Rivas are part of an effort to ensure members of immigrant communities are educated about their legal rights, and positioned to pursue those rights without being worried about the cost.
To honor Attorney Rivas’ volunteer work, the Hispanic Center gave her the Above and Beyond Award in 2016, and that same year Attorney Rivas received a Connecticut Law Tribune New Leaders in the Law award for her advocacy on behalf of the immigrant community.
Her work and impact as a volunteer doesn’t end there.
Believing that education is the key to a better future for those who have come to the U.S., Attorney Rivas has helped coordinate the Hispanic Center’s annual drive to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need in Greater Danbury—and she has been a donor, and then board member of the Latino Scholarship Fund for a decade.
A Latino Scholarship Fund scholarship recipient as a high school student, Attorney Rivas currently serves on the scholarship selection committee, which awarded approximately $20,000 in scholarships in June 2019, including a $10,000 scholarship to one student.
She is also on the planning committee for the 26th annual gala, Red Carpet Gala, to be held Feb. 15.
She may be reached at (203) 744-1234, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.