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Jennifer L. Colyer

  • Special Counsel | Pro Bono

New York

T: +1.212.859.8285

Headshot of Jennifer L. Colyer

Jennifer L. Colyer is special counsel in the Litigation Department, and resident pro bono counsel in the New York office.  She joined the firm in 1993 and became special counsel in 2000. 

As pro bono counsel, Jennifer is responsible for directing the overall pro bono program and supervising individual pro bono projects handled by other attorneys at the firm.  Jennifer specializes in immigration and criminal defense and LGBT rights cases.  In 2010, she was counsel to the attorney for the child in the landmark case of Debra H. v. Janice R., in which the New York Court of Appeals gave effect to a lesbian couple's Vermont civil union to find that the child had two legal parents.  On the immigration front, Jennifer has extensive experience in asylum, VAWA, U-Visa and cancellation of removal cases and has won asylum based on political opinion, sexual orientation, HIV status and other social group claims.

She also handles family-based immigration petitions.  For the past ten years, Jennifer ha...

Jennifer L. Colyer is special counsel in the Litigation Department, and resident pro bono counsel in the New York office.  She joined the firm in 1993 and became special counsel in 2000. 

As pro bono counsel, Jennifer is responsible for directing the overall pro bono program and supervising individual pro bono projects handled by other attorneys at the firm.  Jennifer specializes in immigration and criminal defense and LGBT rights cases.  In 2010, she was counsel to the attorney for the child in the landmark case of Debra H. v. Janice R., in which the New York Court of Appeals gave effect to a lesbian couple's Vermont civil union to find that the child had two legal parents.  On the immigration front, Jennifer has extensive experience in asylum, VAWA, U-Visa and cancellation of removal cases and has won asylum based on political opinion, sexual orientation, HIV status and other social group claims.

She also handles family-based immigration petitions.  For the past ten years, Jennifer has defended individuals facing a broad array of criminal charges in federal court.   

Jennifer is a frequent speaker on pro bono topics and has been a guest lecturer for the Pro Bono Management Seminar at Columbia Law School.

In addition, her extensive litigation experience includes a broad range of civil matters as well as substantial work on investigations brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Attorney's office and other criminal and internal investigations.

In May 2018, Jennifer spoke about current developments in immigration law at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference.  In February 2018, she was presented with the Commitment to Justice Award by the organization Her Justice, for her immigration work with survivors of domestic violence.  Also in 2018, Jennifer was honored by Unchained at Last for her work with women who were forced into marriage. In May 2016, she spoke about partnerships between law firms and legal services organizations at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference.  In 2014, Jennifer was honored with the Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality.  In June 2014, she was recognized as one of 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon, and in May 2014, Jennifer spoke at the ABA Equal Justice Conference about law firm/public school legal clinics.  In February 2014,Jennifer received the Pro Bono Liaison Award from Her Justice. In June 2011, she was honored by the New York City Bar Association for her work on behalf of members of the LGBT community.  In 2010, she was recognized by the Legal Aid Society for her work representing inmates who are eligible to apply for resentencing under New York State's Drug Law Reform Act.

Professional associations

  • Corporate Secretary, 2009-2010, Association of Pro Bono Counsel
  • Participant, National Pro Bono Summit, American Bar Association
  • President, 2010-2012, Association of Pro Bono Counsel
  • Member, Federal Bar Council
  • Member, Board of Directors, 2015-2021, Immigration Equality Action Fund
  • Board member, 2006-2015, Association of Pro Bono Counsel
  • Director, Executive Committee Member, 2020-present, Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

News and recognition

Events

Speaking engagements |

17th Annual NYC Pro Bono Coordinators’ Conference

Speaking engagements |

15th Annual NYC Pro Bono Coordinators’ Conference
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