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Elora Mukherjee

Jerome L. Greene Clinical Professor of Law

Elora Mukherjee

Jerome L. Greene Clinical Professor of Law

Elora Mukherjee is the Jerome L. Greene Clinical Professor of Law and director of Columbia Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Mukherjee’s teaching, practice, and advocacy focus on representing immigrants, asylum seekers, and children seeking special immigrant juvenile status.

Mukherjee has taken students to the southern border of the United States since she founded the clinic in 2014. In January 2015, they were the first pro bono counsel on site at a detention center in Dilley, Texas, representing individual asylum seekers. Mukherjee and her clinical students continue to work with refugees on both sides of the U.S. border.

For more than 10 years, Mukherjee has been working on issues related to the Flores settlement, an agreement that outlines how the U.S. government must care for unaccompanied migrant children and promptly release them from custody.

Mukherjee regularly collaborates with immigrants’ rights advocates on strategic litigation, legislative reform, grassroots advocacy, public education, and coalition building. Their work has been featured in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Mukherjee and the clinic are representing immigrants from around the world, including Constantin Mutu, who at the age of four months became the youngest known child to be separated from his parents at the southern border, and his father Vasile. Their case was the subject of a New York Times investigative report.

Mukherjee is also an advisor to students working with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a nonprofit organization co-founded by Brad Smith ’84 that provides legal representation to unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings. She is the founder and director of the Refugee Reunification Project, which provides grants to help refugee families relocate to the United States.

A former staff attorney at the ACLU Racial Justice Program, Mukherjee served as lead counsel in a class action lawsuit challenging racial profiling and civil asset forfeiture laws in Texas. From 2007 to 2010, she was an associate at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, where she specialized in police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, and housing and employment discrimination. After graduating from Yale Law School in 2005, she clerked for Judge Jan E. DuBois of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

From 2006 to 2007, Mukherjee served as the Marvin M. Karpatkin Fellow at the ACLU Racial Justice Program, working on all aspects of investigating, litigating, and settling suits for immigrant children detained under prison-like conditions at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Texas, among other matters.

Mukherjee joined the Law School in May 2013 as a clinical teaching fellow and lecturer in law, and was appointed associate clinic professor in 2014.

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2005
  • B.A., Rutgers University, 2002
Areas of Expertise
  • Immigration law
  • Civil rights
  • Police misconduct
  • Prisoners’ rights
  • Housing and employment discrimination
  • “Abolishing the Time Tax on Voting,” 89 Notre Dame Law Review 101, 2009
  • “American Civil Liberties Union – New York Civil Liberties Union,” Criminalizing the Classroom: The Over-Policing of New York City Schools, 2007
  • Human Rights First, “The United States and International Human Rights,” (with co-authors), Assessing the New Normal: Liberty and Security for the Post-September 11 United States, 2003
  • Book Review, “Ethnic Conflict & Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India,” by Ashutosh Varshney, in Yale Journal of International Law, 2003
Activities and Affiliations
  • Founder and Director, Refugee Reunification Project
  • Director, Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center
  • Director, Warm Heart
  • Past Director, Fair Housing Justice Center
Honors and Awards
  • Honorable Mention for 2016 Presidential Awards for Outstanding Teaching by Faculty at Columbia University
  • Named as a Rutgers 250 Fellow
In the News


Advanced Immigrants' Rights Clinic
Immigrants' Rights Clinic
Immigrants' Rights Clinic - Project Work
S. Citizenship