Amreeta Mathai is the Co-Director of The Bronx Defenders Holistic Defense Externship Program at Columbia Law School.
Mathai serves as a Co-Training Team Leader at the Bronx Defenders as well as a staff attorney in the Civil Action Practice. As a Team Leader and attorney, she manages her team's interdisciplinary defense strategies and in particular, defense litigation and legal strategy for housing, employment, civil forfeiture, public benefits and other civil issues arising from interactions with the criminal and family justice systems.
Prior to joining the Bronx Defenders, Mathai served as a law clerk to the U.S District Court Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle of the Eastern District of Louisiana. In that capacity, she also served Judge Lemelle while he sat by designation for the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits. While interning at the ACLU's National Security Program, Mathai worked on the program's no-fly litigation and 4th Amendment suits challenging TSA stop and seizure practices. She worked on race, gender, age and disability discrimination claims in the work place with plaintiffs’ side firm Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C. She also worked on Alien Torts Statute litigation in South Africa with Harvard Law School's Human Rights Clinic.
Mathai received her J.D. from Harvard Law School where she was the President of the South Asian Law Students Association and a board member of the Law and International Development Society. She holds an MPhil in International Development from the University of Oxford where she received a Bursary Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Mathai graduated on the Dean’s List and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with an honors B.A. in South Asian and South East Asian History. While at the University of Chicago, Mathai was a founding member of the Free Burma Project and organized delegations of students and faculty to visit the Thai-Burma border.
Externship: Bronx Defenders on Holistic DefenseExternship: Bronx Defenders on Holistic Defense - Fieldwork