P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Nusrat Choudhury, 2004

Roger Pascal Legal Director, ACLU of Illinois

Nusrat Choudhury is the child of immigrants from Bangladesh

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Yale University

NUSRAT JAHAN CHOUDHURY is the Roger Pascal Legal Director at the ACLU of Illinois, where she oversees a team of more than 20 staff advancing civil rights and civil liberties across Illinois. Nusrat has more than a decade of experience in advancing reform in the criminal legal system and policing. She has led litigation to protect immigrants from dangerous detention conditions and serves as counsel for community organizations enforcing a federal consent decree to reform Chicago police patterns of excessive force. Her team uses litigation and advocacy to advance change in the criminal legal system and policing, First Amendment rights, government transparency, voting rights, access to reproductive health care, gender equity, and the rights of LGBTQ+ people, children in the foster system, young people in juvenile detention, and people in prisons and jails.

Nusrat served for more than 11 years at the national ACLU. As Deputy Director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program. Nusrat led efforts to challenge racial profiling and unlawful stop-and-frisk, the targeting of people of color for surveillance, and practices that criminalize poverty. Nusrat’s work against debtors’ prisons reformed practices in Georgia, Mississippi, Washington, and South Carolina. Nusrat helped to secure national guidance from the ABA and other entities promoting fairness and equal treatment of rich and poor in courts.

As an attorney in the ACLU National Security Project, Nusrat helped secure the first federal court ruling striking down the U.S. government’s No Fly List procedures for violating due process. She also exposed and challenged national security practices that improperly target Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities, including the NYPD’s profiling of Muslims for surveillance and the FBI’s racial and ethnic mapping program. Nusrat also served as a Marvin M. Karpatkin Fellow at the ACLU Racial Justice Program.

Nusrat clerked for Judge Barrington D. Parker in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and for Judge Denise Cote in the Southern District of New York. She is a recipient of the South Asian Bar Association of New York Access to Justice Award and the Edward Bullard Distinguished Alumnus Award of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Nusrat was born in Chicago to immigrants from Bangladesh. She is a graduate of Columbia University, Princeton University, and Yale Law School. 

  • MPA International Development | Princeton University 2006
  • JD Law | Yale University 2006
  • BA History | Columbia University 1998
Work History
  • ACLU of Illinois, Roger Pascal Legal Director | February 2020 - PRESENT
  • ACLU Racial Justice Program, Deputy Director | July 2018 - February 2020
  • ACLU National Security Program, Staff Attorney
  • ACLU Racial Justice Program, Staff Attorney
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