AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Paul Hughes and Mary Kenney with the 2021 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award

6/1/21 AILA Doc. No. 21060132.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes two litigators this year with the 2021 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law: Paul Hughes and Mary Kenney.

Paul W. Hughes co-chairs the Supreme Court practice at McDermott Will & Emery, and he co-directs the Supreme Court Clinic at the Yale Law School. An experience appellate litigator, Paul has argued at the U.S. Supreme Court nine times. He has argued before en banc sittings of the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits. And he has argued dozens more cases before federal and state appellate courts. Chambers USA lists Paul among its nationwide rating of appellate lawyers. Among his recent wins in immigration-related matters were at the Supreme Court, where he won an opinion holding that noncitizens with certain criminal histories can contest factual findings made in the courts of CAT and withholding proceedings. Nasrallah v. Barr, 140 S. Ct. 1683 (2020) and an opinion concluding that mixed questions of law and fact qualify as “questions of law” and are thus reviewable under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D). Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr, 140 S. Ct. 1062 (2020).

Mary Kenney currently serves as Deputy Director of the National Immigration Litigation Alliance. For twenty-five years, Mary Kenney has worked to protect the rights of noncitizens, combat abusive conduct by immigration agents, and overturn unlawful policies of the immigration agencies. From 2003 to 2020, she was with the American Immigration Council, most recently as Directing Attorney of Litigation, where she engaged in impact litigation and authored numerous practice advisories. Prior to joining the Council, she served as the Executive Director of a statewide immigrant and refugee rights litigation project in Texas. In that role, she oversaw impact litigation, including several class actions, and advocacy efforts. She also worked as a legal services attorney in West Virginia. In 2014, Ms. Kenney was awarded the Carol King award by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild for her impact litigation work.

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.