Catherine Weiss Partner

New Jersey
T 973.597.2438 | F 973.597.2439

Chair, Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest
Chair, Pro Bono Committee

A lifelong public interest lawyer, Catherine is committed to maximizing the impact of Lowenstein Sandler’s pro bono work. As chair of the Lowenstein Center for Public Interest, she brings strategic focus to the firm’s pro bono efforts and deepens its partnerships with leading nonprofit and community organizations across the country and within the firm’s local communities.

Under Catherine’s direction, the Center has expanded on the firm’s historic commitment to public service by building an award-winning program that serves hundreds of low-income individuals and the nonprofit organizations that support them. The firm boasts extensive pro bono experience in areas such as immigration, education, and housing.

Catherine brings to her pro bono work at Lowenstein Sandler a significant background in public interest law. Before joining the firm, she served as Director of the Division of Public Interest Advocacy in the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and Director of the Reproductive Freedom Project in the national office of the ACLU.

As part of her role overseeing the firm’s pro bono work, Catherine maintains a substantive practice as a litigator. She approaches matters with an appellate lawyer’s eye, constructing challenges to unjust laws or policies and winning decisions that reform the law. When she isn’t leading her own teams in appeals or impact litigation, she manages and participates in a number of Lowenstein Sandler’s signature pro bono initiatives, including representation of children in immigration proceedings; victims of persecution in asylum proceedings; survivors of domestic violence seeking orders of protection and custody of their children; veterans in disability hearings; low-income individuals in bankruptcy proceedings; tenants trying to avoid eviction; low-income entrepreneurs who need business advice; low-income inventors who need assistance with patent applications; adults seeking to become legal guardians of children in their care; and nonprofit organizations seeking counsel and assistance in corporate and governance matters.

Representative Engagements

Represented twenty-five church-state scholars in an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court arguing that the Establishment Clause prevents religious nonprofits, colleges, and universities, as well as closely held for-profit companies, from shifting the burden of their religious objections to contraceptive coverage to their employees and students by declining to file paperwork they view as making them complicit in the provision of such coverage by other entities.
Leads the firm’s representation of children in immigration proceedings, ensuring that many each year are placed with safe custodians, protected from persecution in their home countries, and defended from deportation.
Represented leading national immigration organizations as amici in the New Jersey Supreme Court in a case that clarified the role of the state courts in cases involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and lifted barriers to this key form of immigration relief for children.
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Other Distinctions

  • Award of Excellence, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, 2017 – for professional distinction and commitment to justice, civil rights, and education

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, New Jersey Law Journal, 2016 – one of 25 lawyers recognized for their roles in shaping New Jersey law

  • Champion of Democracy Award, Common Cause, 2013; Hurricane Heroes Award, NJ League of Women Voters, 2013 – for running Election Protection hotline and protecting voters’ rights in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

  • Leadership Award in Reproductive Rights, New York Civil Liberties Union, 2003

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Ethical Issues in Representing Immigrant Children,” Pro Bono Institute Conference, DC, March 24, 2016

  • Speaker, “Reproductive Rights in the Supreme Court, 1989 to this Term,” Yale College, February 26, 2016

  • Trainer, “Representing Tenants in Eviction Proceedings,” Prudential Legal Department, January 12 and March 30, 2016

  • Panelist, “Practice Tips for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases after the NJ Supreme Court’s Decision in H.S.P. v. J.K.,” Rutgers School of Law – Newark, January 8, 2016

  • Presenter, Briefing on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, October 14, 2015

  • Panelist, “Ethical Issues in Pro Bono Practice,” Prudential Legal Department, June 15, 2015

  • Panelist, “Ethical Issues in Representing Immigrant Children,” Equal Justice Conference, May 7, 2015

  • Panelist, “Pro Bono in Practice: Criminal Justice,” Pro Bono Institute Conference, March 5, 2015

  • Panelist, “Ethics: Conflicts of Interest? A Pro Bono Bankruptcy Case Study,” Pro Bono Institute Conference, March 5, 2015

  • Panelist, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Terminating Representation of a Pro Bono Client,” APBCo (Association of Pro Bono Counsel) Academy, Oct. 8, 2014

  • Panelist, “Real World Ethical Issues in Pro Bono Practice,” NYC Bar Association, June 16, 2014

  • Witness, “Elections in New Jersey,” Tri-State Hearing on Voting Rights, National Commission on Voting Rights, April 11, 2014

  • Panelist, “Public-Private Partnerships: The Veterans Justice Initiative,” White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice, April 8, 2014

  • Presenter, “Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey,” Prudential Legal Forum, December 16, 2013

  • Panelist, “Ethical Issues in Pro Bono Practice,” Equal Justice Conference, May 9, 2013

  • Speaker, "Restoring Foreclosed Properties to the Market," Best of the 2013 PBI Annual Conference Series: Marketplace of Ideas - Transactional Pro Bono Projects Webinar, April 25, 2013

  • Judge, New York Law School Moot Court Finals, Sept. 18, 2011


Preventing Unjust Eviction
New Jersey Lawyer, October 2017
Natalie Kraner, Catherine Weiss
States Provide Model for Handling Controversial Class Action Awards
The National Law Journal, November 25, 2013
Catherine Weiss
Expecting the Unexpected: Election Planning for Emergencies
Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, October 29, 2013
Catherine Weiss, Manali Joglekar, CIPP/US/E, Meg Slachetka

Press Mentions

In The Star LedgerCatherine Weiss comments on the pro bono community’s efforts to persuade the state to create a publicly funded program to provide free, appointed counsel to low-income, detained immigrants facing deportation. , The Star Ledger , May 31, 2017
In The Wall Street JournalCatherine Weiss comments on the Firm’s Election Protection hotline that helped protect the voting rights of citizens in NJ, Oklahoma, and Kansas. , The Wall Street Journal , November 8, 2016
Catherine Weiss comments in NJ Spotlight on her experience representing immigrant children. , NJ Spotlight , July 26, 2016
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Related Areas



Yale Law School ( J.D. , 1987 )
Yale University ( M.A. , 1984 ) , National Science Foundation Fellowship
Princeton University ( A.B. , 1981 ) , Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

New York
New Jersey
District of Columbia

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey


  • Huber Foundation, Board Member
  • Partners for Women and Justice, Board Member
  • N.J. Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness, Appointee
  • N.J. State Bar Association Pro Bono Committee, Member