Professor Karen Musalo received the Lawyer of the Year award from the Immigration Law Section of the Federal Bar Association (FBA) in May at the group’s annual conference.
The award recognizes the work of Musalo and the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) to ensure the legal protection of asylum for immigrant women fleeing domestic violence. Musalo has litigated key cases on this issue, and under her leadership, the CGRS was a vital source of legal advice and technical assistance to attorneys representing women fleeing violence in their home countries. She led efforts to share legal strategies and litigation support materials, and CGRS filed numerous amicus briefs on cases supporting women seeking asylum. After years of advocacy by the CGRS on behalf of these cases, in August of 2014 a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a binding precedent on the issue.
“This award is very meaningful to me,” said Musalo. “I am quite honored that the work I have done is recognized and valued by both government and non-governmental attorneys.”
The Federal Bar Association (FBA) is comprised of over 15,000 private and government attorneys and judges whose goal is to serve the interests and needs of the federal legal profession and the public. The Immigration Law Section focuses specifically on the promotion of successful practice, constructive discussion and continued development of immigration law.
This was the inaugural year of the FBA’s Immigration Law Section Awards Committee, making Professor Musalo the first winner of their Lawyer of the Year award.
“We are extremely honored to present this award to Professor Musalo. She embodies the spirit of the Refugee Convention as it was originally envisioned. She is the type of leader who bursts out exploring through the unknown, hatching away at the thicket with her axe,” said Alicia Triche, Chair of the Awards Committee for the Immigration Law Section of the FBA.