Lowenstein Sandler is pleased to announce that Catherine Weiss, Chair of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest, has been named to the National Law Journal’s 2018 list of Immigration Trailblazers. This recognition, featured in a special supplement to the journal’s August issue, is presented to legal professionals who have made a significant impact on practice, policy, and advancements in their practice area through exceptional legal strategies.

Since joining Lowenstein Sandler in 2010, Weiss has led the Center’s efforts to deepen the firm’s pro bono efforts in partnership with numerous nonprofit organizations across the country. In representing and advocating on behalf of immigrants, the firm’s primary partners include Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Human Rights First, the Vera Institute of Justice, the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, the American Friends Service Committee, OneJustice, and the Child Advocacy Clinic at Rutgers Law School. 

Weiss’s notable pro bono immigration efforts include:

  • Coordinating with a nationwide network of law firms and nonprofits to secure representation for children who have been separated from their parents under the Trump Administration’s policies (also note New York Times Op-Ed, “The Law Did Not Create This Crisis, but Lawyers Will Help End It,” coauthored by Lowenstein Chair and Managing Partner Gary M. Wingens and Brad S. Karp, Chairman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP);
  • Winning appeal to clarify the role of state courts in the process that can lead to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a form of relief available to unaccompanied immigrant children who have been subject to abuse, neglect, or abandonment by a parent;
  • Briefing congressional staff on the importance of this form of relief and the growing challenges to securing it;
  • Presenting at conferences around the country on the legal ethics issues involved in representing immigrant children;
  • Securing asylum and other immigration relief for adults and immigrant children and teens;
  • Helping to create a Power of Attorney through which immigrant parents can designate alternative caregivers for their children in the event that the parents are arrested, detained, or deported; and
  • Creating an immigration enforcement advisory that offers nonprofits and their immigrant clients practical guidance on how to respond to potential enforcement actions.

“Our firm was founded on strongly held beliefs in equality and social justice, and Catherine has been a shining example and guiding force for these causes,” said Gary Wingens. “With her steadfast commitment to today’s urgent immigration causes, as well as to the nation’s increasingly pressing civil and human rights matters, Catherine is a true ambassador for the firm, and I can’t think of a more well-deserving person to receive this award.” 

Weiss has received prestigious accolades for her pro bono efforts, including the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Award of Excellence, New Jersey Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Common Cause’s Champion of Democracy Award, and the New Jersey League of Women Voters’ Hurricane Heroes Award.