AILA Presents Dree K. Collopy with the 2014 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award

Saturday, June 21, 2014

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods


BOSTON,MA — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will award Dree K. Collopy of Benach Ragland LLP with the 2014 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award for her outstanding contributions in the field of immigration and nationality law. She will receive the award today during AILA's Annual Conference in Boston, MA.

Ms. Collopy first joined AILA as a law student in 2006. Following her graduation and admittance to the bar, she became an attorney member and has been busy making her mark in AILA, in her community, and in the practice of law.

As a Partner of Benach Ragland LLP in Washington, DC, she devotes her practice to defending and representing individuals in asylum matters, removal proceedings, federal court litigation, Violence Against Women Act and U visa petitions, waivers of inadmissibility, and complex adjustment of status and naturalization applications. She develops thorough and creative legal strategies, provides impeccable and compassionate client service, and is steadfast in fighting for her clients' rights. Her genuine passion and dedication to her work stems from her deep respect and appreciation for those who dare to dream the American dream.

Ms. Collopy is perhaps known best for her dedication to training the next generation of immigration lawyers, having designed the Immigration Litigation Clinic at The Catholic University of America (CUA) Columbus School of Law, which she co-teaches as a member of the law school's adjunct faculty. When her initial proposal to create an immigration clinic at CUA was rejected, she was only more determined to make it happen. She read and researched extensively on clinical legal education, met with almost every immigration clinician in the Washington, DC area, and made multiple presentations to CUA faculty about the course to obtain approval on an experimental basis. She designed a new clinical course that would follow the principles and pedagogy of clinical legal education while also being financially feasible for CUA. Ms. Collopy did all of this on a voluntary basis to serve the community, make a significant contribution to CUA, and impact the education and lives of CUA students.

She is the author of the upcoming 7th Edition of AILA's Asylum Primer and frequently lectures on cutting edge immigration issues. For the past two years, and continuing on for the 2014-2015 AILA year, Ms. Collopy has chaired AILA's Asylum and Refugee Committee, building relationships and working cooperatively with government officials to maintain the integrity of our asylum system and ensure that our laws are implemented with accuracy and fairness.

Ms. Collopy is deeply committed to the pro bono representation of indigent clients and securing their access to counsel, having served on various pro bono committees for AILA and the American Bar Association, providing pro bono consultations for immigrants' rights organizations, screening cases for the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project, and mentoring pro bono attorneys for Catholic Charities' pro bono program.

She earned her J.D. and Certificate in Law and Public Policy at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish at Grinnell College.


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. 14062146.