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Julia Schwalm of Morrison & Foerster in Germany. Courtesy photo

Morrison & Foerster counsel 
Julia Schwalm sat in her car in Berlin for five minutes, refusing to move, until the Pakistani refugee who just accepted her guardianship understood he needed to wear his seat belt.After the 16-year-old refugee to Germany was able to accept that a woman would be his guardian, it was the little things he and Schwalm had to overcome—like the seat belt, she says, or how to communicate. They used mobile instant messenger WhatsApp and its translation function to correspond. But Schwalm says it was important to her that her client learn German if he was to achieve the asylum he was seeking and assimilate into a country that has one of the largest refugee populations in Europe.

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