Iván Espinoza-Madrigal

Executive Director

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal (@IvanEspinozaESQ) is the Executive Director of the Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), the organization that filed the first lawsuits in the country against the Trump Administration to protect sanctuary cities; to save TPS on behalf of Honduran and Salvadoran immigrants; and to block immigration arrests in courthouses.

Iván is an expert in legal protections for people of color and immigrants. He has filed and won dozens of life-changing and law-changing cases across the country on behalf of people of color and immigrants. He advises federal and state policymakers on the legal needs of marginalized communities. His work is regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times.

A sought-after thought leader, Iván speaks nationally on racial justice and immigration issues. He often focuses on the legal needs of people who identify across intersecting lines of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status.

Before joining Lawyers for Civil Rights, Iván was the Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP). At CHLP, he supervised a legal team on national projects using HIV as a lens to address racial justice, criminal justice, immigration, and public health issues.

Before joining CHLP, Iván worked at Lambda Legal, where he developed an initiative to address the legal needs of LGBT and HIV-affected people of color and low-income people. He also focused on marriage equality cases.

Previously, he handled MALDEF’s immigrant rights docket. He served as counsel in Friendly House v. Whiting, a challenge to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, and was a member of the legal team that successfully defended Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, 557 U.S. 193 (2009), a landmark U.S. Supreme Court voting rights case.

Before joining MALDEF, he was an associate at Fried Frank LLP. At the firm, he worked on the legal defense of an innovative municipal program in New Haven, Connecticut, that provides undocumented immigrants with an ID that allows them to receive city services they would not otherwise be able to access. Similar programs have now been rolled out in San Francisco and New York  – victories for immigrant rights that would not have been possible without the precedent set in New Haven.

Iván clerked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he received a Juris Doctor from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar.

Honors & Awards:

  • Top 40 Under 40, Boston Business Journal
  • Beacon Award, Boston Bar Association
  • Martin Luther King Award in Social Justice, University of Pennsylvania
  • Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color
  • Massachusetts’ 100 Most Influential People for the Latino Community
  • Top 100 Influencers: Rising Stars Across The Nation, The Business Journals
  • Ally of the Year, Centro Presente
  • Community Service Award, Brazilian Workers’ Center
  • Honorary Lifetime Membership, Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO)
  • Edwin D. Wolf Award, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • 50 For 50 Honoree, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA)
  • Community Service Award, Queens Pride House
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Latinx Amplifier, Latina Circle & Amplify Latinx
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Recognition, Hispanic National Bar Association
  • 40 Under 40 Rising Stars, NYU School of Law
  • OUTLaw Alumnus of the Year Award, NYU School of Law
  • 21st Century Fellow, Rockwood Leadership Institute
  • Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40, National LGBT Bar Association

Iván was profiled as an “Emerging Leader Fighting For Justice” in the Boston Business Journal.

Read Iván’s posts on Cognoscenti and Huffington Post, and follow him on Twitter.