AILA Presents Karen T. Grisez with the 2016 Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will award Karen T. Grisez of Washington, DC, with the 2016 Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law. She will receive the award this week during AILA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Karen T. Grisez is full-time Public Service Counsel in the Washington, DC, office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, where she manages the screening and placement of pro bono matters across subject matter areas, serves as liaison to local and national bar associations and nonprofit organizations referring matters to the firm, provides supervision in many litigation matters, and carries a direct-service case load. In addition to working on cases involving disability benefits, family law matters, veterans' benefits appeals, criminal appeals, and landlord/tenant cases, Ms. Grisez concentrates her practice on immigration matters. She has successfully represented numerous asylum applicants and other immigrants before the Asylum Offices, USCIS, Immigration Judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in federal courts. She also volunteers frequently as a speaker or trainer on immigration-related topics.

As a longtime member of AILA, Ms. Grisez has served on its national Pro Bono Committee and the Family Detention Task Force. She has also served for the last two years as Chair of the D.C. Chapter's Pro Bono Committee. She has previously served on other committees at the national and local levels, and is a former Trustee of the American Immigration Council. Ms. Grisez has been an editor on a number of AILA publications and a frequent member of the faculty for the Litigation Institute.

Ms. Grisez has also served AILA in a litigation capacity, having argued Wood v. Reno, the national challenge to IIRAIRA, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and continuing on the team handling that case before the D.C. Circuit. More recently, Ms. Grisez represented AILA and other organizations in an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Flores v. Lynch. She also volunteered on the ground at the family detention centers in Artesia, NM, and Dilley, TX.

Long believing that direct representation and policy work are both critical to making systemic change, Ms. Grisez has played a leadership role in other organizations as well. She was Chair of the ABA Commission on Immigration for six years, and currently serves as Special Advisor to the Commission. She is also a member of the American Bar Association Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants, serves on the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, and was a prior co-chair of the ABA Immigration Litigation Committee.

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. 16062033.