Peter L. Markowitz, Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Joins the Innocence Project Board of Directors

Professor Markowitz is the founder and co-director of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic.

03.31.23 By Julia Lucivero

Peter L. Markowitz, Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Joins the Innocence Project Board of Directors

(March 31, 2023 — New York, NY) The Innocence Project announced today that Peter L. Markowitz, professor and Associate Dean of Equity in Curriculum and Teaching at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, has been elected to its Board of Directors.

As the founder and co-director of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic, Professor Markowitz is an expert on the intersection of criminal and immigration law, which is the clinic’s prime focus, in addition to immigration enforcement issues. The clinic provides defense representation to individuals threatened with deportation and represents community-based and national advocacy organizations on various projects. Professor Markowitz and the clinic have played a central role in many critical innovations in the field of immigration law, including: creating the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the nation’s first public defender system for detained immigrants; developing the concept of sanctuary laws to protect undocumented immigrants; developing the first national immigration fellowship program, otherwise known as the Immigrant Justice Corps; and initiating the nation’s first full-service in-house immigration unit located in a public defender’s office at The Bronx Defenders.

“It is an honor to join the Innocence Project team, which has been a transformative force in the American legal system. They have not just exonerated scores of wrongly convicted people, but, in doing so, they have exposed some of the core defects and injustices that infect the criminal legal system and harm all those it ensnares. I look forward to learning from the staff and clients and supporting them in any way I can,” said Professor Markowitz.

“Peter Markowitz is a trailblazer in immigration law, with invaluable expertise in its intersectionality with the many challenges of the criminal legal system,” said Christina Swarns, executive director of the Innocence Project. “His commitment to justice and his leadership in this field are critical to our work and reflect the shared experiences of many of our clients. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Innocence Project.”

Under Professor Markowitz’s guidance, the Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic has been honored with numerous awards, including the Daniel Levy Award for outstanding and innovative advocacy. It has also been recognized by the New York City Council for groundbreaking work on behalf of immigrant communities.

“It is a privilege to have Peter Markowitz join the Innocence Project Board of Directors,” said Innocence Project Board Chair Jack Taylor. “Professor Markowitz has committed decades to leading innovations in immigration law, establishing a groundbreaking clinic, as well as creating integral programs in the court system to ensure equitable and just pathways for all. This is a central part of the Innocence Project’s mission, and his experience at the forefront of this field, as well as a public defender, make him a vital asset to our work.”

Professor Markowitz’s work has been published widely in leading law journals and in the press, with op-eds appearing in The New York Times, The Nation, Huffington Post, and more. Prior to his role at Cardozo, Professor Markowitz taught at both New York University and Hofstra Schools of Law. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2001. Following graduation, Professor Markowitz clerked for the Honorable Frederic Block — the U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York —  and was a Soros Justice Fellow at The Bronx Defenders before entering the field of academia.

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