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    06.20.18 Patrick Taurel ’10 Receives American Immigration Lawyers Association Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award
    Patrick Taurel_121x131

    Patrick Taurel ’10, who developed a passion for immigration law while at student at Brooklyn Law School, has been named the 2018 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). The award recognizes Taurel’s outstanding contributions as a young lawyer in the field of immigration and nationality law. He was presented with the award during AILA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco on June 14.

    Taurel, who is now an associate with Clark Hill PLC’s Immigration Practice Group, says he would not have become an immigration lawyer had it not been for his participation in Brooklyn Law School’s Safe Harbor Project.

    “That experience changed my life,” he said. “I had the privilege of representing a Tibetan asylum seeker. Thanks to the excellent guidance of Professors Stacy Caplow and Dan Smulian, we won our client’s case, and it was plainly the most important thing I had ever done in my life and I wanted more of it. That’s why I became an immigration lawyer and I am very glad I did.”

    Taurel also credits Professor Maryellen Fullerton for a broad understanding of immigration law, which he continues to rely on today.

    “Professor Fullerton’s excellent survey course on immigration law gave me the foundation to grow as an immigration lawyer. I still have her case book on my shelf!”

    While at the Law School, where he graduated cum laude, Taurel also interned with the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project, the Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, and the Immigrant Defense Project.

    At Clark Hill, Taurel’s practice focuses on federal court litigation and removal defense, as well as affirmative benefits before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. consulates. He currently serves on the AILA Immigration and Customs Enforcement Liaison Committee. In 2017, he was named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” in the field of immigration law.

    Prior to joining Clark Hill, Taurel was as an associate attorney with the Washington, D.C., immigration firm Benach Ragland (now Benach Collopy), where he helped clients achieve goals that ranged from securing protection under the Violence Against Women Act to negotiating safe plea deals in state and federal criminal matters. For two years he was a legal fellow with the American Immigration Council, where he focused on prosecutorial discretion policies and became an expert on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At the Council, Taurel authored several practice advisories on DACA and related topics. Following law school, he spent two years as an associate attorney with the leading Idaho immigration law firm, Andrade Legal.

    Taurel said his work as an immigration is particularly critical at this juncture in the nation’s history. “There has never been a more important time to be an immigration lawyer,” he said. “The Trump Administration’s immigration policy has veered, in the words of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, from abhorrent to evil. In ways big and small, I believe immigration lawyers are fighting for the soul of our nation.”