AILA Presents Judge Robert Katzmann with the 2010 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
George Tzamaras

Sara Ibrahim

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) awarded Hon. Robert A. Katzmann, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, NY, the 2010 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for his outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field. Katzmann will receive the award on July 3, 2010 during AILA's Annual Conference held in National Harbor, MD.

Judge Katzmann, US citizen, son of a refugee from Nazi Germany and grandson of immigrants from Russia, shines a light on the duty of lawyers to pro bono service. For the past three years, Judge Katzmann has served as judicial focal point of an informal body of over 50 volunteers he recruited known as the Katzmann Study Group which is singularly devoted to increasing the quality of competent legal representation of the immigrant poor.

Deeply concerned about the quality of legal services to immigrants, Judge Katzmann has gone to extraordinary efforts in speeches, bar meetings, seminars and personal meetings to try to motivate increased pro bono involvement. Judge Katzmann has prompted those in executive and legislative authority to facilitate pro bono representation.

His siren calls have led to the Executive Office for Immigration Review bringing a Legal Orientation Program to New York and a $2 million dollar funding proposal by the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York and its Office of Immigrant Affairs, now being refined, for increased representation in removal proceedings for indigent respondents.

With the encouragement of the Study Group, the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney and of the New York State Attorney General initiated proceedings against notarios and counsel who allegedly, by misrepresentation or fraud, took unreasonable fees for work not performed or filing applications with falsehoods that gave false hope or made an arguable case impossible or a basis for removal.

A lawyer and a political scientist by training, Judge Katzmann received his A.B. (summa cum laude) from Columbia College, A.M. and PhD degrees in government from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School, where he was Article and Book Review Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He served as co-chair of the FTC transition team and as special counsel to Senator Moynihan on the confirmation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 10062974.