Jenna Gilbert is Director of Refugee Representation, where she oversees Human Rights First’s pro bono legal representation program, which provides indigent asylum seekers with high quality legal representation in the New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Previously, she served as the Managing Attorney of the Los Angeles office of Human Rights First, leading the Los Angeles team, overseeing the legal representation of indigent asylum seekers in the Los Angeles area, and training and mentoring pro bono volunteer lawyers. Prior to her role as Managing Attorney, Jenna was a Staff Attorney in both the New York and Los Angeles offices of Human Rights First. She is a frequent speaker on immigration-related topics affecting asylum seekers.
Before joining Human Rights First, Jenna was an associate attorney at an immigration law firm in Los Angeles, CA, where she managed a large caseload of defensive and affirmative immigration cases. Jenna specialized in removal defense, and frequently appeared in the Los Angeles Immigration Court representing clients with various forms of relief, including asylum, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, NACARA, and criminal waivers. She also successfully appealed cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to that, Jenna received a public interest fellowship to work for Asylum Access Ecuador, where she provided legal services for refugees and led a prison advocacy project in an effort to ensure that detained migrants were guaranteed protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol. Jenna litigated and presented oral arguments before Ecuador’s highest court in a case involving Ecuador’s unlawful imprisonment and denial of reparations to a Guinean refugee.
Jenna has a dual degree in international relations and Spanish language and literature from the University of San Diego. She received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is admitted to practice law in California. She is fluent in Spanish.
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