NEW YORK, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC), the country's first fellowship program wholly dedicated to meeting immigrants' need for high-quality legal assistance, announced today its seventh class of Justice Fellows. Selected for their compassion, intellect, and commitment to immigrants' rights, the 2021 Justice Fellows will bring their many skills to bear on the acute representation crisis in immigration.
Twenty-eight graduates from top law schools and with impressive experience from around the country were chosen for the prestigious Fellowship at IJC. The Class of 2021 Justice Fellows come to IJC with stellar backgrounds, including education in the nation's most well-regarded immigration law programs and years of cumulative experience as client advocates. All the 2021 Justice Fellows are bilingual and fluent in Spanish, Arabic, and French, among other languages. This year, we conducted recruitment almost exclusively through virtual channels, yet received a near-record level of applications, attesting to the competitiveness of this year's class and the continually expanding interest in immigration practice.
"In 7 years, IJC Fellows have had a profound impact on the delivery of legal services for immigrant poor," said IJC's founder, Robert A. Katzmann, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, "I am confident that the 2021 Justice Fellows, with their impressive backgrounds and commitment to immigrants' rights, will help IJC continue to meet the deep need for quality legal counsel which makes all the difference."
The Fellows will serve for two years as staff attorneys at strategically selected legal services agencies and community-based organizations across the country, providing legal assistance to low-income immigrants in an array of immigration matters including deportation defense and affirmative applications for those fleeing persecution. While there has been a welcome change in administration at the Federal level, much work remains, whether in striving to reverse many years of detrimental policy shifts, filling the representation gap for immigrants in deportation proceedings, or advocating to expand and build programs to legalize the nation's millions of undocumented immigrants.
This year, IJC Fellows will also be assigned to three exciting new host organizations serving under resourced communities: ISLA: Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy and the Tulane Immigrant's Rights Law Clinic in Louisiana and the International Rescue Committee of Arizona.
"The hundreds of applications we received this year affirmed a core tenet of IJC: there exists an enormous wealth of untapped talent, ready, willing and able to devote effort to address the nation's representation crisis," said IJC's Executive Director, Jojo Annobil. "I am proud and happy to welcome these Fellows into our dynamic network of Fellows and alumni committed to universal representation and to support them."
The new class will begin their Fellowship in September 2021 and join the 27 Justice Fellows already in the field who are entering the second year of their Fellowship.
Founded in 2014, Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) identifies promising lawyers and advocates passionate about immigration, places them with organizations where they can make the greatest difference and supports them with training and expert insights as they directly assist immigrants in need.
To date, over 230 IJC Fellows have provided representation in over 25,000 legal matters and assisted over 80,000 low-income immigrants and their families with a success rate of 93 percent on cases completed. There are currently 85 Fellows serving in 11 states and 33 cities at 49 host organizations.