Virginia, US

Fragomen Welcomes Cecilia Lopez Santiesteban As Latest Fragomen Fellow At The City Bar Justice Center

Fragomen Welcomes Cecilia Lopez Santiesteban As Latest Fragomen Fellow At The City Bar Justice Center

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Cecilia Lopez Santiesteban as the latest “Fragomen Fellow,” effective September 3, 2019.

The Fragomen Fellowship is a fully-funded, two-year rotating fellowship established by Fragomen to enhance the pro bono legal services provided to immigrants by the City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association.

In her new role, Ms. Lopez Santiesteban will represent immigrants in removal proceedings and complex affirmative applications; organize and lead short-term pro bono clinics; participate in community outreach activities; and mentor pro bono attorneys from private law firms. She will also provide critical support for special projects initiated by the City Bar Justice Center.

Lisa Koenig, a member of the Board of the City Bar Fund and a Partner at Fragomen, supervises the Fragomen Fellow. “Fragomen is constantly renewing its commitment to pro bono service for immigrants in need,” she said. “We’re excited about Cecilia’s appointment as our firm’s new Fellow at the City Bar Justice Center—she is a talented attorney who will enrich this partnership, one of the many nonprofit immigrant advocacy organizations we support worldwide.”

Ms. Lopez Santiesteban’s background is an impressive mix of academic, advocacy and private firm experience. Most recently she served as the Immigrant Justice Corps Justice Fellow at Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS) in New York City. At CCCS, she represented adults, children and detained and non-detained clients in asylum interviews before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review and in applications for U nonimmigrant status, SIJS and asylum. She also participated in community legal clinics, conducted “know your rights presentations” throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and participated in self-help workshops for pro se individuals.

Her prior positions include Dean’s Fellow at the American University Washington College of Law, where she served as a teaching assistant for the Advanced Criminal Procedure: Crimmigration & Migrants in the Criminal Justice System course. Previously, she worked as a legal intern for Kids in Need of Defense in Baltimore, Maryland; as a legal clerk for L&L Immigration Law, PLLC in Alexandria, Virginia; as a Dean’s Fellow for the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project of Washington, DC; and a student attorney at the Immigrant and Human Rights Clinic, Florida Coastal School of Law.

Ms. Lopez Santiesteban earned her J.D., cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law in 2016. While at American, she served as a board member of the Public Interest Community Liaison, labor and trafficking co-chair of the Immigrant Rights Coalition, and a course teaching assistant in immigration and naturalization law. Prior to attending American, she attended the Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, and earned her B.A. in political science from San Jose State University.

Lynn Kelly, Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center, is enthusiastic about Ms. Lopez Santiesteban’s appointment. “From the start of her legal career, Cecilia has devoted considerable time and energy to low-income immigrants in need of legal representation,” she said. “We value our longstanding partnership with Fragomen and believe the City Bar Justice Center will be enriched by Cecilia’s commitment, drive and talent.”

Austin T. Fragomen, Jr., Chairman of Fragomen’s Executive Committee and former Chairman of the Board of the City Bar Fund, said, “Immigration is the heart of Fragomen’s practice. Our sponsorship of a full-time fellow, dedicated to helping the City Bar Justice Center serve immigrants in the greatest need, is an extension of our identity and our commitment to our clients.”