CUNY School of Law welcomed three new members to its faculty this fall.
Nermeen Arastu has joined CUNY Law’s Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic (INRC) as a clinical law professor and supervising attorney. Arastu’s practice areas include immigration law, civil rights matters, and commercial litigation. Along with Diala Shamas, Arastu is a principal author of Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims, a report produced by CUNY Law’s Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project.
Prior to joining CUNY Law’s faculty, Arastu was a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP and a staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). At AALDEF, Arastu led the Immigrant Rights Program and Post-9/11 Civil Liberties Project. Through the course of her pro bono work at Simpson Thacher and tenure at AALDEF, Arastu managed an immigration docket which included deportation defense, suppression, asylum, citizenship and green card interviews and various other immigration processes. Additionally, while at AALDEF, she oversaw monthly immigration clinics in conjunction with various community-based organizations, litigated matters relating to zoning and houses of worship, addressed anti-Muslim bias in the immigration system, and advocated against racial and religious profiling and law enforcement surveillance. Arastu has also worked at the Legal Assistance Centre of Namibia and in the Immigrant Women Program at Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense) where she focused on policy relating to gender-based violence. Arastu is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Professor Ann Cammett (’00) teaches the third-year Family Law Concentration at CUNY Law. Her scholarship explores intersectional legal issues of race, gender, poverty, mass criminalization, and the family, and she is a recognized expert on the policy implications of incarcerated parents with child support arrears and other collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Her work in this area has been cited in two amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Turner v. Rogers, and excerpted for family law casebooks and other treatises.
Cammett comes to the law school most recently from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she taught civil procedure and served as an advisor for public interest law students. She previously worked at Legal Aid in Brooklyn as a Skadden Fellow, served as a policy analyst for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, and was a teaching fellow in the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Georgetown University Law Center. She earned a B.F.A. with honors from the School of Visual Arts, a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law, where she was a CUNY Public Interest Law Student of the Year, and an LL.M. in advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center.
Sofia Yakren joins CUNY Law as an associate professor and teaches lawyering, torts, and disability law. Prior to joining CUNY Law, she was on the faculty at American University Washington College of Law, teaching disability law, mental disability law, and the Women and the Law Clinic, where her students represented clients facing a broad range of civil issues related to family law, public benefits, special education, and immigration. In her courses, Professor Yakren emphasizes reflection, engaged client-centeredness, rigorous legal analysis, the reality and value of emotions in lawyering, and self-awareness/actualization.
Before entering academia, Yakren was a civil rights litigator at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, where she represented individual and class plaintiffs in employment discrimination, false arrest, and wrongful conviction actions. As an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow at the Mental Health Project of the Urban Justice Center, Yakren challenged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act in New York City’s welfare system. Yakren also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Nancy Gertner of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Yakren received her B.A. from Yale College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.