Lee Gelernt is a lawyer at the ACLU's national office. He is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading public interest lawyers and has argued dozens of groundbreaking civil rights cases during his career, including in the U.S. Supreme Court and virtually every federal court of appeals. He has testified before both houses of Congress. His recent work is featured in the documentary “The Fight.” He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, and for several years was a visiting professor at Yale Law School.  

During the past four years, he has argued some of the country’s highest profile cases, including:

  • A successful national class action challenge to the Trump Administration’s unprecedented practice of separating immigrant families at the border. Lee’s work on this case is featured in the film “The Fight” and in a July 2018 New York Times Magazine cover story about the ACLU.
  • Successful challenges to the Trump Administration’s first and second asylum bans.
  • The first case challenging the president’s travel ban on individuals from certain Muslim-majority nations, which resulted in a federal court in Brooklyn issuing a nationwide Saturday night injunction only one day after the president enacted the ban.
  • A national class action challenge to the Trump administration’s pretextual use of the public health laws to summarily expel unaccompanied migrant children without an asylum hearing,

Lee has won numerous awards for his work and has been recognized as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the country in any field. He regularly lectures around the country, and frequently appears in the media. He graduated from Columbia Law School, where he was a Notes & Comments Editor of the Law Review, and is a former law clerk to the late Judge Frank Coffin of the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lee Gelernt, A84 photo

Lee Gelernt, A84