For Immediate Release

March 13, 2019


Maria Baldini-Potermin, 312-368-8200

March 13, 2019 – Today, the Board of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) announced its selection of Ilyce Shugall as the next Executive Director of the organization. Ilyce is a long-time immigrants’ rights advocate and former director of the immigration program at a community-based legal services organization in East Palo Alto, California.

Shugall, who is currently serving as an immigration judge with the San Francisco Immigration Court, will officially begin as the NIPNLG Executive Director on April 29, 2019.

“Now more than ever, NIPNLG has a critical role to play, and I am excited to be joining the organization at this important time in its history,” said Shugall. “I look forward to working with the staff, members, partners, and board to advance the mission of this amazing organization.”

Founded in 1971 as a committee of the National Lawyers Guild, NIPNLG became a freestanding organization in 1981. NIPNLG works to protect the rights of all, including noncitizens entangled with the criminal justice system, victims of government abuse and misconduct, and those facing summary removal. NIPNLG plays a critical role in the national discussion on advancing the rights of ALL immigrants and is one of the nation’s most well-regarded immigrants’ rights organizations. It is one of the few national organizations that specializes in defending the rights of immigrants facing incarceration and deportation.

“Ilyce is an extraordinary leader with a deep knowledge of immigration law and policy.”
–Jayashri Srikantiah, NIPNLG board

“Ilyce is an extraordinary leader with a deep knowledge of immigration law and policy. We are delighted that she will be leading NIPNLG at this critical time in the immigrants’ rights movement,” said Jayashri Srikantiah, who serves on the NIPNLG board.

“Ilyce's immigration law experience is extensive and impressive, beginning on the South Texas - Mexico border, moving to private practice, then working in community legal services on the coast, and continuing to the bench,” said Maria Baldini-Potermin, who also serves on the NIPNLG board. “Her ability to provide the 10,000-foot view and connect it to the individual clients and communities will be invaluable to leading NIPNLG, its members, and its partners forward.”

Please join the Board in welcoming Ilyce Shugall to her new leadership role with NIPNLG.

The decision to hire Shugall came after an intensive, months-long search led by Strategies for Social Change.

About Ilyce Shugall

Ilyce Shugall, who is currently an immigration judge at the San Francisco Immigration Court, has extensive experience working with community groups and in the immigrants’ rights space, as well as a deep understanding of immigration law and the ways in which it impacts communities of color.

Shugall served as a National Association of Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) Equal Justice Fellow at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Harlingen, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border, for two years. She then joined Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, where she practiced immigration law and supervised staff for over 10 years, becoming a partner.

Shugall then returned to the nonprofit sector. She joined Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) in March 2012. During her five-year tenure at the organization, she worked greatly to expand the services the immigration program provided to the community. Under her leadership as the Directing Attorney of the Immigration Program, the program grew from four attorneys to 20 staff, and CLSEPA’s immigration attorneys were some of the first responders to the surge crisis in the immigration courts in 2014.

Shugall also served as a commissioner on the California State Bar Commission on Immigration and Nationality Law. She was awarded the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award in 2015. She has written extensively about immigration law.