The extraordinary story of Kim Motley, the US woman who became the first foreign lawyer to practice in Afghanistan. In the summer of 2008 Kimberley Motley quit her job as a public defender in Milwaukee to join a U.S. government sponsored 'capacity building' program that helped train lawyers in war-torn Afghanistan. She was 32-years-old at the time, a former Mrs. Wisconsin (she entered the competition on a dare) and mother of three who had never travelled outside the United States. What she brought to Afghanistan was a toughness and resilience that came from growing up in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, a fundamental belief in everyone's right to justice - whether you live in Milwaukee, New York or Kabul, and a kick-ass approach to practicing law that was to make her a legend in the archaic, highly conservative legal environment of Afghanistan. Through sheer force of personality, ingenuity and perseverance, she became the first foreign lawyer to practice in Afghanistan, let alone the first woman. Her legal work swiftly morphed into a personal mission - to bring 'justness' to the defenceless and voiceless. In the space of two years, Motley established herself as an expert on Afghanistan's fledgling criminal justice system, steeped in that country's complex laws but equally adept at wielding Sharia law and arcane aspects of the Holy Quran in defence of her clients. Her radical approach has seen her successfully represent both Afghans and Westerners, overturning sentences for men and women who've become subject to often appalling miscarriages of justice. Motley's extraordinary work in Afghanistan was the recent subject of a critically acclaimed documentary entitled 'Motley's Law'. In the U.S. she has been profiled in Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and the New York Times. Her legal exploits have reached UK and Australian readers through frequent coverage by the BBC (print, television and radio), as well as in The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Australian newspapers and online editions. In addition, she was the subject of an Aljazeera profile titled 'Beauty and the East,' and was also profiled in the BBC's weekly magazine. Motley was a recent featured speaker at Oslo Freedom Forum and her TED talk entitled 'How I Defend the Rule of Law' has been viewed over a million times. Motley has also begun to work as an international lawyer outside of Afghanistan, bringing the skills she developed there to the global stage. A recent client, the Cuban dissident and graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, was released from a Havana prison in January shortly after Motley intervened on his behalf. Kimberley's book is both an extraordinary woman's story, and a legal non-fiction thriller.
Publication Date: 05-Aug-2019
Publisher: Allen & Unwin