In a workroom at a small law firm on South State Street in Chicago is a fledgling not-for-profit Internet operation for asylum-seekers and their lawyers. Inc. was launched three years ago, when attorney David P. Berten, then at Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, was trying to obtain asylum for a Somali woman. She was a member of a clan called the Benadir, whose members fled to Kenya in the early 1990s when fighting erupted in the Mogadishu area.

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