2019 Public Interest Honors Dinner
On April 2, 2019, we celebrated 226 Columbia Law School students who have shown exceptional dedication to public interest or public service law. We also honored 2019 Distinguished Columbia Law School Alum Ramzi Kassem '03, director of Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility and professor of law at City University of New York. Ramzi was introduced by Olatunde Johnson, Jerome B. Sherman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. Full Program
Scroll down for the list of honorees, Distinguished Alum bio, and photo gallery!
Honored in three or more categories
Honored in one or more categories
Preston Walter Bell
Jung Min Cho
Matthew de Bernardo
Eun Gi Hong
Sang Ha Lee
Alex Xinrui Li
Rayna Baum Lifson
Maria Jose Martinez
2019 Distinguished Alum
Ramzi Kassem '03 is a Professor of Law at the City University of New York, where he co-directs the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic. With his students, Professor Kassem represents prisoners of various nationalities presently or formerly held at American facilities at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, at so-called “Black Sites,” and at other detention sites worldwide. In connection with these cases, Professor Kassem and his students have appeared as party counsel and submitted merits briefs before U.S. federal district and appellate courts, before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as before the military commissions at Guantánamo. Professor Kassem also supervises the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, which primarily aims to address the legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counterterrorism policies and practices.
Before joining the CUNY law faculty in 2009, Professor Kassem was a Robert M. Cover Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, where he taught in the Civil Liberties & National Security Clinic as well as the Worker & Immigrant Rights & Advocacy Clinic. Professor Kassem also previously served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he taught in the International Justice Clinic. As a Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Civil Rights Fellow at Cochran Neufeld & Scheck (now Neufeld Scheck & Brustin), Professor Kassem litigated high-impact cases stemming from wrongful convictions and police misconduct. He has also served as a legal consultant for the International Center for Transitional Justice. Professor Kassem is a graduate of Columbia College and holds law degrees from Columbia Law School, where he was a Senior Editor for the Columbia Law Review, and from the Sorbonne. His interests include the legal and policy responses to the September 11th attacks and other national security crises, the rights of minorities and non-citizens, and international humanitarian law.