Forbes has named Adjunct Professor Lauren Burke, to its “30 Under 30: Law and Policy” list. She was recognized for her advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrants and victims of survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.
Burke created and teaches the Immigrant Youth Law Clinic where she shares her passion and advocacy with students both as classroom instructor and supervisor of interns. The clinic began almost overnight last summer in response to President Obama’s Executive Order allowing young adults to apply for immigration benefits.
“We are lucky to have Lauren and it’s great that she is getting such public recognition for her amazing work,” said Professor Stacy Caplow, Director of the Clinical Education Program. “Lauren brings such creativity and energy to her work and the classroom; her students get great instruction and the opportunity to provide a valuable service to the community.”
In addition to her work in the clinic, Burke divides her time between two additional advocacy jobs. She is the first-ever attorney and Supervisor of Legal Services at The New York Asian Women’s Center, an organization that provides immigration consultations, representation and “Know Your Rights” trainings to female and child survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. She is also co-founder and Director of Atlas: DIY, an advocacy program for undocumented immigrants in New York.
Burke insists that the real honorees are the victims for whom she advocates. “While being included on this list is an honor for me personally, it’s more of a victory for the undocumented immigrant youth I work for,” said Burke. “To have this type of direct service advocacy work recognized as worthy of national attention is significant.”
After graduating from New York University School of Law, Burke received a Skadden Fellowship to work at The Door where she provided legal representation to immigrant youth in family and immigration court, as well as in the areas of educational and worker’s rights. She was moved by the stories of immigrant youth, and wanted to do more; shortly thereafter she founded Atlas: DIY. Burke’s work has been featured in the New York Times and she is frequently called on as an expert in matters of Chinese child trafficking as she speaks fluent Mandarin.
Burke hopes that being named to the Forbes list will help bring yet another layer of legitimacy to her work. “This honor helps our organization, and for that matter, all organizations that are run by young people, to be taken more seriously by funders and partners that can help us advance our cause,” said Burke.
Burke was also recently honored with the 40 Under 40 Leadership Award for Advocacy in New York City by the New Leaders Council.
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Read more about Burke on WBGH News and in the New York Times.
Learn more about Brooklyn Law School’s clinical program.