Judiciary Co-Chair & Amicus Co-Chair
A monumental civil rights advocate and formerly undocumented immigrant, Attorney Prerna Lal pioneered a robust network of highly-organized and diverse undocumented youth with digital engagement capacity, and fought against the deportations of immigrant community members. This model of organizing spurred immigration organizations across the country to fight against deportations, and laid the groundwork for the Obama Administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” program. For this, Attorney Lal received many awards, honors and accolades both locally and nationally, including the Changemaker of the Year award from the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). ABC News has listed Lal as among the “Top 20 Immigration Experts to Follow on Twitter” while Ms Magazine has recognized them as one of the “50 Feminist Women to Follow” and Colorlines has showcased them in “Here’s 15 Smart Women of Color on Twitter.”
Prerna Lal has also worked at leading law firms and non-profits on both sides of the country, focusing on employment and family-based immigration law. As a law clerk, Attorney Lal worked at Trow & Rahal P.C., specializing in corporate and employment immigration matters, and at Benach Ragland LLP, specializing in complex immigration federal court litigation and removal defense. As a policy attorney in Washington D.C. at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Attorney Lal helped to craft federal policies such as extended DACA, DAPA, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal and parole-in-place for the family members of Filipino war veterans. Most recently, Attorney Lal served as the sole immigration counsel for over 500 students and their family members at the University of California, Berkeley, single-handedly creating and sustaining the first school-based legal services program in the United States. At the East Bay Community Law Center and UC Berkeley School of Law, Lal taught at the immigration law clinic and mentored a new generation of public-interest law students before starting their own law firm.
Prerna Lal is also widely recognized and prominent for their pivotal work on behalf of the LGBT community, and for bridging the queer and immigrant rights social movement in the United States. In recent years, Lal has served as a board director of Immigration Equality, and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Lal continues to be highly sought-after by prestigious universities, national institutions, media and international organizations to give lectures, hold workshops, conduct webinars, and provide feedback and expertise on various social issues.