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Legal Action Center Staff

Emily Creighton, Staff Attorney
202-507-7500 ext. 7505 (

Emily Creighton is a Staff Attorney at the Legal Action Center. She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae before the Board of Immigration Appeals and numerous federal courts and serves as counsel in national class action litigation. Ms. Creighton also contributes to practice advisories and administrative advocacy efforts on a variety of immigration-related topics. Ms. Creighton graduated cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in 2006.

Melissa Crow, Director
202-507-7500 ext. 7523 (

Melissa Crow is the Director of the Legal Action Center, the litigation and legal advocacy arm of the American Immigration Council.  Ms. Crow has practiced immigration law for more than twelve years, including litigation in the federal courts, immigration courts, and Board of Immigration Appeals.  Prior to joining the LAC, she served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. She was previously a partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed a thriving immigration practice and undertook litigation to protect immigrants' rights in the workplace. Before entering private practice, Ms. Crow served as Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy during the 2007 debates on the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. She also spent a year as the Gulf Coast Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. Ms. Crow has taught in the Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School and the International Human Rights Clinic at Washington College of Law.  She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Seth Garfinkel, Legal Assistant / Paralegal
202-507-7500 ext. 7516 (

Seth Garfinkel is the Legal Assistant at the Legal Action Center. As a student at Macalester College, Seth studied abroad in Senegal where he interned at the Association for the Development of Senegal – a grassroots organization working to diminish rural-urban migration through infrastructural development in Senegalese villages. After graduation, Seth was awarded a World Partners Fellowship to spend a year studying international development in India and working at the National Centre for Advocacy Studies. More recently, Seth served as a Congressional Intern in the office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. Seth holds a B.A. in International Studies from Macalester College with a concentration on issues of human rights and humanitarianism.

Mary Kenney, Senior Staff Attorney
202-507-7500 ext. 7512 (

Mary Kenney is the Senior Staff Attorney with the Legal Action Center.  She has represented amicus curiae or plaintiffs in numerous significant immigration cases, including De Osorio v. Mayorkas, 695 F.3d 1003 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), cert. granted, 81 U.S.L.W. 3430 (U.S. June 24, 2013); Etape v. Chertoff, 497 F.3d 379 (4th Cir. 2007); Zheng v. Gonzales, 422 F.3d 98 (3d Cir. 2005); and Ngwanyia v. Ashcroft, 302 F. Supp. 2d 1076 (D. Minn. 2004).  Prior to joining the Immigration Council, she was the Executive Director of the Texas Lawyers’ Committee, a statewide immigrant and refugee rights project.  She also worked as a legal services attorney in West Virginia.  She received her J.D. from Antioch School of Law.

Kristin Macleod-Ball, Fellow
202-507-7500 ext. 7520 (

Kristin Macleod-Ball is a Yale Public Interest Fellow with the Legal Action Center. While a law student, she served clients seeking relief in immigration court, applying for benefits with USCIS and challenging racial profiling by local police. Kristin helped to document problematic examples of state and local involvement in immigration enforcement as an intern with AILA. She has also worked with legal services organizations to advocate on behalf of tenants in foreclosed properties and residents of manufactured housing. Prior to law school, Kristin worked with WITNESS, an organization that assisted locally-based non-profits around the world to produce and distribute human rights advocacy videos. She is a graduate of Bard College and Yale Law School.

Patrick Taurel, DACA Legal Services Fellow
202-507-7500 ext. 7526 (

Patrick Taurel is the DACA Legal Services Fellow at the Legal Action Center. Prior to joining the LAC, Mr. Taurel was an associate attorney with Andrade Law Office in Boise, Idaho, where he represented noncitizens before USCIS, EOIR, federal courts, and U.S. consulates abroad. He graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in 2010 and he received his B.A. in Philosophy from Brown University in 2004.

Beth Werlin, Deputy Director
202-507-7500 ext. 7522 (

Beth Werlin is the Deputy Director of the Legal Action Center.  Much of her work focuses on protecting the due process rights of noncitizens facing removal.  She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae in immigration litigation in the federal courts and before the Board of Immigration Appeals and is the author of numerous practice advisories.  Beth first joined the Legal Action Center in 2001 as a NAPIL fellow and before that was a judicial law clerk at the immigration court in Boston, Massachusetts.