The vast majority of lawyers chosen for the Lawdragon 500 come from private corporate and plaintiff firms that operate in the major transactional and litigation practice areas. But we always select some stand-out representatives of the public interest and nonprofit communities, as well. This year, Baher Azmy, featured in our limelight video "Challenging Authority," earned his place in the guide as the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York.
The CCR files lawsutits to protect and advance domestic and international human rights. The organization has played the central role in the representation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and is currently representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department's "stop and frisk" policy. These are just a few of the high-profile and often controversial legal matters handled by CCR's 15 attorneys.
Azmy was a professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in 2004 when the CCR started coordinating the defense of the detainees at Guanatnamo. He took on the case of Murat Kurnaz and was able to secure his release in 2006. He became CCR legal director 18 months ago.