Require a Dedicated Defense
Newton & Hall, Attorneys at Law, PLLC
is a Full Service, Criminal Defense Firm.
The Best Defense. Always.
Refer with Confidence.
S King County 253-859-4600
al, and Lutheran Community Services.
Each of these organizations provided
or connected her with legal counsel,
therapy, transport, and medical care, including referral to Dr. Alexandra Molnar
at Harborview Medical Center’s International Medicine Clinic, who continues to
provide Isatou with primary care today.
Isatou would go on to have multiple
surgeries, including one to amputate her
deformed leg. Although she had always
been optimistic that one day she would
walk on her own two legs, it was not to
be. In order to walk, Isatou would need
to have her deformed leg amputated and
fitted for a prosthetic. Isatou was very
upset when she got this news, but she
now accepts what she cannot control.
After coming to terms with the diagnosis, she felt even some “excitement”
about the amputation simply because it
was a decision and she could move forward with her life.
On May 16, 2013, Isatou’s leg was am-
putated. The amputation was followed
by more surgeries to reverse the FGM,
all at a time when she also lacked stable
housing and was essentially homeless.
Her immigration attorney André Olivie,
a sole practitioner in Seattle, even paid
for her to rent a room so she would have
a safe place to live and recover until she
moved to Jubilee Women’s Center in
Isatou lived at Jubilee for two years,
during which time she had three more
surgeries, got fitted for a prosthetic
leg, and started planning to go back to
school. She wanted to practice law in the
U.S. and believed that the only way to do
this was to attend law school and earn an
American law degree. She was accepted
into law school in Indiana but deferred
because of the need for additional surgeries. While she was recovering, she
completed job training at Goodwill and
worked in customer service for Xerox in
Around the start of 2015, Seattle was
starting to feel like home for Isatou. She
had made connections and developed
friendships with some of the professionals who had been providing her care.
Dr. Molnar even invited Isatou to be her
assistant teacher. Together, they did a
number of presentations about barriers
to health care for immigrants, including
one at UW Law in February 2015. While
at UW Law, Isatou happened to speak
with a staff member for the school’s LL.M.
programs and discovered that she was
eligible to apply for admission into one of
the programs because she holds a foreign
law degree. She applied for, and was accepted into, the Sustainable International Development program, which focuses
on international development law, for the
2015–16 school year. Receiving her acceptance into the program was one of the
happiest days of her life, she says.
The UW Law Sustainable
Isatou began her LL.M. studies at UW
Law in September 2015, which was also
her first higher education experience in
English. Though she was a new LL.M.
student, she still lacked stable housing
and would not move into her own apartment until March 2016. In spite of this
and other challenges, Isatou has been
thriving as a student at UW Law.