Iván Espinoza-Madrigal

Executive Director

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal is the Executive Director of Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) in Boston, an organization founded at the request of President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. LCR is one of the largest and oldest organizations in New England working on legal and policy issues at the intersection of racial justice, immigration, public health, and entrepreneurship. LCR is a recent MacKenzie Scott grant recipient.

Best known for his work on immigration, education, housing, voting, LGBTQ+ rights, public health, and entrepreneurship, Iván has 18 years of experience in complex federal and appellate litigation. He has represented a wide range of clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

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. He advises federal, state and local policymakers on the legal needs of marginalized communities. His work is regularly featured in publications such as the New York Times. He has also been featured as “Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and as “Bostonian of the Year” by the Boston Globe.

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

Early in his career, Iván worked as an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where he focused on securities litigation for corporate clients in New York. He also served as a Fried Frank Fellow with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), where he focused on a wide-range of civil rights cases in San Antonio, Texas.

At a pivotal time in the movement for LGBTQ+ equality, Iván joined Lambda Legal to work on marriage equality cases and with LGBTQ+ people of color. He also served as the Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy, focusing on the legal needs of people living with HIV.

Iván clerked for Judge Ronald Ellis in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Judge Eric Clay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit, Michigan.

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. He received an honorary doctorate from Cambridge College.

Iván currently serves on the Board of Ambassadors of Eastern Bank, the Board of Directors of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), and the Advisory Board of the Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston. He was recently appointed to the Governing Council of the Mass Cultural Council, the state agency fostering a rich cultural life and promoting excellence and inclusion in the arts. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Crossroads, a youth empowerment summer camp.

He recently published a book about his dog: Obie’s Adventures in the Berkshires.

Read Ivan’s profile in the Boston Business Journal, and his posts on Cognoscenti and Huffington Post. Follow him on Twitter.

Academic Appointments:

  • Senior Fellow in Residence, Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy, Boston College Law School (Fall 2021)
  • Visiting Researcher, Immigration Clinic, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (Fall 2021)
  • Legal Consultant, Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Medical College of Wisconsin (2016 – present)

Honors & Awards:

  • Honorary Doctorate, Cambridge College
  • Bostonian of the Year (2023), Boston Globe
  • Lawyer of the Year (2022), Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • Boston’s 100 Most Influential People (2021), Boston Magazine
  • Boston’s 150 Most Influential People (2023), Boston Magazine
  • Top 40 Under 40, Boston Business Journal
  • President’s Award (2023), Boston Bar Association
  • President’s Award (2020), Boston Bar Association
  • Beacon Award (2017), Boston Bar Association
  • Ohtli Award, Government of Mexico
  • Alfonso García Robles Award, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
  • Martin Luther King Award in Social Justice, University of Pennsylvania
  • Top Lawyers of 2023, Boston Magazine
  • Top Lawyers of 2022, Boston Magazine
  • Top Lawyers of 2021, Boston Magazine
  • Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color
  • Boston’s 50 Most Influential Attorneys of Color
  • Boston’s 50 Most Influential Men of Color
  • Boston’s 25 Most Influential LGBTQ+ People of Color
  • Top 100 Most Influential People, Poz Magazine
  • 100 Most Influential People for the Latino Community, El Planeta
  • Top 100 Influencers: Rising Stars Across The Nation, The Business Journals
  • Ally of the Year, Centro Presente
  • Community Service Award, Brazilian Workers’ Center
  • Inspiring Leader Award, Hyde Square Task Force
  • Founder’s Award, The Welcome Project
  • Fair Housing Open Door Champion Award, CHAPA
  • Social Justice Award, ACEDONE
  • Progressive Leadership Award, Progressive Massachusetts
  • Community Champion Award, MIRA
  • 50 For 50 Honoree, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA)
  • Community Service Award, Queens Pride House
  • Top 100 Latinx Leaders, Amplify Latinx
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Latinx Amplifier, Amplify Latinx
  • Edwin D. Wolf Award, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Recognition, Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)
  • Honorary Lifetime Membership, MAMLEO
  • 40 Under 40 Rising Stars, NYU School of Law
  • OUTLaw Alumnus of the Year Award, NYU School of Law
  • LaLSA Alumni Recognition Award, NYU School of Law
  • 21st Century Fellow, Rockwood Leadership Institute
  • Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40, National LGBT Bar Association