For John C. Dwyer, representing immigrants denied proof of their lawful status was a practical matter: He is a member of Cooley Godward’s pro bono committee and was looking for a meaningful case.

For his colleague, Michelle S. Rhyu, the pro bono litigation bore a more personal appeal. A native of Korea who arrived in the United States with her family when she was 4, Rhyu empathized with the plaintiffs’ frustrations.