Meet Lisa Knox, CCIJ’s new Legal Director

Updated: Mar 2



Lisa Knox, CCIJ’s new Legal Director, speaking at a protest in front of Governor Newsom’s mansion in late July demanding that all immigrants be released from detention and that the state halt transfers to ICE.


Lisa will oversee CCIJ’s work creating and supporting strategies to fight for the liberation of immigrants in detention through direct representation, litigation and advocacy. Her goal is to empower underserved communities through technical assistance, education and training.


Lisa comes to CCIJ from Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, CA. As managing attorney at Centro Legal, Lisa helped found and manage the detained representation project. Lisa oversaw emergency legal services for ACILEP, Alameda County’s rapid response network, and managed legal clinics at two California detention centers.


Lisa has provided representation to immigrants detained throughout California. She was also one of the first attorneys to provide representation to individuals forced to await their asylum hearing in Mexico under Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols program, and has continued to organize regular workshops and remote pro se assistance for asylum seekers in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. During the COVID pandemic, Lisa has worked with organizers and advocates across California (including currently and formerly detained people) to push the state to take action and protect detained immigrants.


Lisa is currently a board member of the National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area. Through the Guild, Lisa has helped develop Know Your Rights trainings and trained community advocates through the Immigration Court Observation Program. Previously, Lisa worked as a staff attorney and clinical instructor at the East Bay Community Law Center, and practiced immigration law at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale in San Francisco, where she worked on deportation defense, asylum and family-based immigration matters.

As a person of Black and Latinx descent, Lisa’s own lived experience has taught her that immigration is a racial justice issue. She is passionate about moving beyond a traditional service provision model, to work in partnership with detained people towards their individual and collective liberation.


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