With recent appointments, four CWRU law alums serve as immigration law judges

U.S. Passport and gavel atop a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Plaque with an American Flag background
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CWRU’s Immigration Law program is having a big year. Renowned alumnus Austin Fragomen (LAW ‘68) recently made a $1 million gift to endow our Immigration Law Clinic and local immigration law luminary Margaret Wong, whose son Stephen Chan (LAW ‘10) is a graduate of our law school, made a $100,000 gift to endow a scholarship for students focusing on immigration law. 

On the heels of that, CWRU alumnus Daniel Smulow (‘98) was just appointed as a judge in the Baltimore Immigration Court, and alumna Coleen O'Donnell (LAW ‘06) was appointed as a judge of the Laredo Immigration Court. In addition, alumna Jenna Peyton (LAW ‘98) was recently appointed Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in Chicago, and alumna Jennifer Riedthaler-Williams (LAW ‘01) is an Immigration Judge here in Cleveland.

Since 2017, students enrolled in CWRU’s Immigration Law Clinic have been representing non-U.S. citizens before various governmental agencies, including immigration court, USCIS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They work on applications for relief from removal or deportation, asylum, withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. They have filed briefs, conducted questioning at hearings and argued cases, and they have a track record of success (including ten grants of asylum) under the instruction of Clinic Director Aleksandar Cuic, who is also Managing Partner at Brown Immigration Law in Cleveland. 

In addition to the four immigration judges, dozens of our graduates have gone on to successful careers in the field, including as Attorney Advisers at the US Executive Office of Immigration Review in Cleveland and Denver, Immigration Law Litigation and Appeals Attorneys at the Department of Justice in D.C., Asylum Officers at the US Citizen and Immigration Services, and as attorneys at Non Profits and Immigration Law Firms through the United States.