October 2014 Alumni Highlight

Pace Law Immigration Justice Clinic alumna Miriam Lacroix (’14) selected as an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow

Miriam Lacroix '14Miriam Lacroix’s (’14) interest in public interest and public policy work began at a young age and continued through college when she interned in the offices of a United States Senator and also a New York State Senator.  As the child of a Haitian immigrant, Miriam understood the challenges that complex immigration laws present to disadvantaged individuals and families.  Miriam dedicated herself and continues to dedicate herself to providing compassionate and topnotch legal services to immigrants.

Miriam’s hard work paid off in April 2014 when she learned that she had been chosen to serve as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Justice Fellow.  The Justice Fellowship program was initiated by Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Miriam was selected from among hundreds of applicants and is one of 25 inaugural members.  The Fellows will provide high-quality, pro bono legal assistance to immigrants.  Miriam has been assigned to the City Bar Justice Center of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Miriam is a 2014 graduate of Pace Law School.  During her time at Pace, she was a student attorney in the Semester in Practice component of the Immigration Justice Clinic at John Jay Legal Services, Inc. – the Law School’s free community clinic – where she worked closely with Professor Vanessa Merton.  As a student attorney, Miriam took on the most difficult cases, intrigued by the complex legal issues.  She represented a broad range of clients from a whistleblower against police corruption in the Ukraine to two young girls from Senegal seeking to avoid genital mutilation and forced marriage.

While at Pace Law, Miriam also participated in the Public Interest Law Students Organization, the Black Law Student Association, and the National Immigration Moot Court at NYU Law School.  Miriam is currently working with Stephanie Ramos (’14), a Pace Community Law Practice fellow, on an article entitled, “Toward A Critical Immigration Theory: Breaking The Historical Patterns of Oppressive Immigration & Citizenship Policy.”  The article traces the patterns of discrimination in immigration law and policies and invites a conversation about developing a more comprehensive, critical, anti-oppression analysis of the U.S. Immigration system.

Miriam is confident that Pace Law School has prepared her for what lies ahead, especially in the difficult field of immigration practice.  She looks forward to accelerating her learning curve and continuing to ensure that immigrants receive the same access to justice as everyone else. Miriam is eager both to provide future clients with competent, capable, skilled, and passionate representation and to allocate time and energy to law reform, using her background in legislative advocacy.  Miriam recalls the positive experience she had with her Pace Law professors, especially Vanessa Merton, and would not trade her experiences at Pace for anything in the world.

Miriam currently resides in Yonkers, NY.  In her spare time she enjoys singing and is currently a member of the Gospel Knights, a gospel choir based in Concordia College.