FJHP Alumnus

Joe Marutollo, 2010

Meet FJHP Alumnus, Joe Marutollo (2010)

Joseph Marutollo is a 2010 Pace Law alumnus. He is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division for the Eastern District of New York, serving as Chief of Immigration Litigation. We sat down with Joe to chat about his experience with Pace Law’s Federal Judicial Honors Program. Here is what he had to say.

What initially interested you about the Federal Judicial Honors Program (FJHP)?
The FJHP offers law students the opportunity to work closely with federal judges and gain knowledge about the inner workings of the federal court system. I thought it would be a unique, challenging, and rewarding experience.
Tell us about your experience in the FJHP.
I had the good fortune of interning for the Honorable Richard J. Sullivan, who was then a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Last year, in October 2018, Judge Sullivan was sworn in as a U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Second Circuit. 
Interning for Judge Sullivan was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Judge Sullivan assigned me to draft opinions and prepare legal memoranda involving a host of legal issues. Importantly, over the course of the internship, Judge Sullivan personally took time out of his busy schedule to regularly meet with me and provide helpful feedback on my writing and analysis. My experience with Judge Sullivan was perfect preparation for my subsequent work as a federal prosecutor, where strong writing and effective advocacy are paramount. 
During my internship, I also observed Judge Sullivan’s tireless work ethic and his meticulous preparation for each of his cases—qualities that I have tried to emulate in my own career. In short, Judge Sullivan was, and remains, a wonderful mentor and role model to me. Indeed, for the last decade, Judge Sullivan has generously continued to serve as my mentor.
Additionally, after law school, I worked for five years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department, where I served as lead attorney on behalf of the City of New York in over 100 federal civil rights cases, including six trials. One of the trials happened to be a federal civil rights jury trial before Judge Sullivan. It was a pleasure to try a case before Judge Sullivan; as in all of his cases, Judge Sullivan fairly and impartially presided over the trial and treated all those in his courtroom with the utmost respect. 
I am grateful for Judge Sullivan’s continuing role in my life, and I am further delighted to hear that he continues to contribute to the Pace Law community, including his recent role as one of the judges at Pace Law’s Grand Moot competition this past Spring.
What is your work like as an Assistant United States Attorney?

Serving as a lawyer on behalf of the United States of America has been the highlight of my career.   I work as an AUSA in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Since March of 2015, I have served as the lead attorney on behalf of the United States in over 150 federal cases, including four trials. AUSAs work on all aspects of federal litigation, from inception through appeal. Working as a lawyer serving the public is demanding, but it has been incredibly fulfilling and allows me to serve a cause greater than my own self-interest.
Can you speak about your role as Chief of Immigration Litigation?
In May 2017, I was promoted to my current position as Chief of Immigration Litigation, where I currently oversees more than 800 affirmative and defensive immigration cases. I also litigate a host of putative class-actions in matters of national significance, including high-profile actions seeking to enjoin the DACA rescission, the termination of Temporary Protected Status, and the use of immigration detainers.  

What did you take with you from the FJHP into your career post-law school?
Besides the insight into federal litigation and the work of federal practitioners, FJHP also showed me the enormous effect of an internship on a student’s career. Judge Sullivan frequently remarked that it is imperative to “pay it forward.” Similar to Judge Sullivan’s role in my career path, I have tried to “pay it forward” by serving as a mentor for my interns. In coordination with the excellent work of Professor Elyse Diamond, I currently conduct on-campus interviews at Pace Law School each year and my office typically hires 2-3 Pace interns for our summer internship program. Since January 2018, I have also served as an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School, where I teach a seminar and lead the Government Immigration Litigation Clinic. I work closely with my interns and I aim to provide them with a valuable legal experience that enhances their career development. 
What are some achievements, personally or professionally, that you wish to share?
In 2019, I was selected to receive the Department of Justice’s prestigious Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. I was also the recipient of Pace Law School’s 2019 Rising Star Award in the Public and Government Sector. I am truly thankful for both awards.
And, on a personal note, shortly after graduating from law school, I married my wife Suzanne and we have a four-year old son named Thomas.