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Claire R.


Attorney, Immigration Expert, Consultant,
Clinical Director & Professor

Claire R. Thomas is a New York City-based attorney, consultant, and professor practicing immigration law and researching global migration, statelessness, human rights, and empowerment for women and girls facing poverty and gender-based violence.

Areas of Expertise

Immigration Law​
Gender-Based Violence
Refugee & Asylum Law
Global Migration 
Human Rights
Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at

Claire in Tijuana, B.C. Mexico volunteering with Al Otro Lado, Spring 2019.


Claire R. Thomas is an attorney and professor whose interests and expertise include: U.S. immigration law, asylum and refugee law, unaccompanied children, immigrant access to public benefits, and empowerment for women and girls facing poverty and gender-based violence.

She graduated from the University of Chicago and also studied at the Universite de Paris X, Nanterre. She holds a graduate degree from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and a law degree from New York Law School. She was a visiting scholar at The New School's Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility.

Claire directs the Asylum Clinic at New York Law School (NYLS), in which she teaches law students how to represent immigrants seeking asylum and other humanitarian immigration protections in the United States. As an Adjunct Professor of Law at NYLS, she also teaches the introductory immigration law course and has taught a variety of other immigration-law related courses since 2014.  Claire is also a contract attorney with CUNY Citizenship Now! and assists immigrants applying for naturalization.


As a consultant, Claire provides supervision for attorneys and advises staff on immigration and family law matters at The Door's Legal Services Center, a NYC non-profit organization working with immigrant youth.

Previously, she provided local and national trainings on immigration law to over 5,000 individuals in English and in French and advocated for the rights of African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern immigrants at African Services Committee, a Harlem-based non-profit assisting persons living with HIV. 

Claire's television appearances include Voice of America in both English and French. She has been quoted in local and national publications including The New York Times, The Bangkok Post, The New Statesman, The Queens Daily Eagle and Law at the Margins. Her Op Eds and Letters to the Editor have been published in the Queens Daily Eagle, Women Across Frontiers, and the New York Times. Her academic publications (Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Drexel Law Review, and New York Law School) focus on unaccompanied children in immigration removal proceedings and immigrant access to public benefits.

Each pin represents a legal and personal victory for an individual from the New York Law School Asylum Clinic, which Claire directs.



Claire has presented Continuing Legal Education (CLE)  trainings on a wide variety of topics for local, national, and international groups including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, New York City Bar Association, Practising Law Institute, and Lawline, among others.

MEDIA Appearances & OP EDS

Claire has been quoted in both English and French in many local and international publications, including the New York Times, Law at the Margins, Voice of America, and the Queens Daily Eagle.



Claire's legal writing has been published by the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Drexel Law Review, and New York Law School. Her graduate thesis focused was published by the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review.


In addition to her legal trainings, Claire has presented about various human rights and immigration law topics for non-legal audiences at museums and community events. 

Claire receiving a the Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing

Award for Adjunct Faculty Article, May 2018.


Claire's Asylum Clinic has been recognized by John Jay

for its commitment in providing free consultations to students.

Immigrant Advocacy Response Collective organizers, 2018.

From left: Brendan O'Malley, Claire, Jackie Vimo, Corina Bogaciu.


Contact: Media Inquiries, Requests for Consulting Services, Speaking Engagements 

For inquiries related to any of the above, you may reach out using the following form. Please be as detailed as possible in your request and include multiple forms of contact information. Where applicable, include specific event dates or writing deadlines.

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