- J.D., Yale Law School, 2005
- B.A., Rutgers University, 2002
Elora Mukherjee is an Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. Mukherjee is director of the Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, which provides high-quality legal representation to both immigrant children and adults.
She previously served as a clinical teaching fellow and lecturer in law, and was an instructor in the Law School’s Mass Incarceration Clinic with Professor Brett Dignam. Mukherjee also advises students participating in a Law School partnership with Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit that provides legal representation to unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings.
Mukherjee was a staff attorney at the ACLU Racial Justice Program. In that capacity, her work included serving as lead counsel in a suit that successfully reformed Nebraska’s ballot access laws; serving as lead counsel in a class action suit challenging racial profiling and abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws in east Texas; organizing a multi-faceted litigation and advocacy campaign in Michigan to challenge debtors’ prisons; and challenging Michigan’s failure to provide adequate indigent defense services. From 2006 to 2007, Mukherjee served as the Marvin M. Karpatkin Fellow at the ACLU Racial Justice Program, working on all aspects of investigating, litigating, and settling suits for immigrant children detained under prison-like conditions at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Texas, among other matters.
Mukherjee is a founder and director of the Refugee Reunification Project, which provides grants to help refugee families purchase plane tickets to safety in the United States; a director of the Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center; and a director of Warm Heart, a community-based, development organization serving rural northern Thailand. She previously served on the board of directors of the Fair Housing Justice Center.
From 2007 to 2010, Mukherjee was an associate at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, where she litigated a broad range of civil rights cases, including dozens of cases involving police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, and housing and employment discrimination. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jan E. DuBois in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2006.
- Immigration law
- Civil rights
- Police misconduct
- Prisoners’ rights
- Housing and employment discrimination
- “Abolishing the Time Tax on Voting,” 89 Notre Dame Law Review 101, 2009
- “American Civil Liberties Union – New York Civil Liberties Union,” Criminalizing the Classroom: The Over-Policing of New York City Schools, 2007
- Human Rights First, “The United States and International Human Rights,” (with co-authors), Assessing the New Normal: Liberty and Security for the Post-September 11 United States, 2003
- Book Review, “Ethnic Conflict & Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India,” by Ashutosh Varshney, in Yale Journal of International Law, 2003
- Founder and Director, Refugee Reunification Project
- Director, Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center
- Director, Warm Heart
- Past Director, Fair Housing Justice Center
- Honorable Mention for 2016 Presidential Awards for Outstanding Teaching by Faculty at Columbia University
- Named as a Rutgers 250 Fellow
- “Columbia Law School Rights Clinic Helps Immigrants Overcome Legal Hurdles,” METROFOCUS WLIW21, March 21, 2016
- “Ankle Monitors Weigh on Immigrant Mothers Released From Detention,” The New York Times, November 15, 2015
- “These Young Students And Lawyers Are Helping Women And Children Get Out Of Immigrant Detention,” The Huffington Post, August 24, 2015
- “What’s Next for Immigrant Families in Detention?” The New Yorker, July 30, 2015
- “Judge Orders Release of Immigrant Children Detained by U.S.,” The New York Times, July 25, 2015
- “Hope and Despair as Families Languish in Texas Immigration Centers,” The New York Times, June 14, 2015
- “A Voice for Justice: Professor Mukherjee and Law Students from Columbia's Immigrants' Rights Clinic are Fighting for Asylum Seekers Held in Detention,” Columbia Magazine, Fall 2015
- “Finally Free from Fear,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Leadership Blog, June 12, 2015