New York Court Just Allowed First Undocumented Immigrant to be Admitted as a Licensed Attorney
New York, NY– The State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division has just made a decision today to allow the first undocumented law graduate to practice law in the State of New York.
Cesar Vargas, a nationally recognized leader in the Dreamer movement, graduated from City University of New York School of Law in 2011 and passed the bar exam in the first try. The only obstacle that remained before he could become a certified lawyer was an evaluation of his background and character by a committee appointed by the State Supreme Court. That committee rated him “stellar.”
In the same stroke, however, they also recommended against his certification as a lawyer. The reason: Mr. Vargas is an undocumented immigrant. The question of whether he should be allowed to practice law, the committee said, was better suited to the courts or the Legislature to decide. Since then, Cesar has been fighting in court to be able practice law regardless of his status.
Today, he has not only become the first Dreamer to be able to practice as a license attorney, but has set a precedence for other law graduates in the State of New York who might face the same obstacle due to their legal status.