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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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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 Choudhury is the Roger Pascal legal director for the ACLU of Illinois. Previously, she was the deputy director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program, which is dedicated to advancing opportunity and equality for communities of color in the United States by fighting white supremacy, racial bias, and drivers of inequality in education, housing, the economy, and the criminal legal system. She led litigation and advocacy challenging police racial profiling, surveillance of people of color, and “debtors’ prisons” – the illegal arrest and jailing of people unable to pay money to courts. 

Nusrat’s litigation and advocacy against debtors’ prisons has exposed and reformed practices in Georgia, Mississippi, Washington, and South Carolina, and has led to the development of national guidance promoting the fair and equal treatment of rich and poor in courts. Nusrat has challenged racial profiling and unlawful stop-and-frisk practices in numerous cities, including through Collins v. The City of Milwaukee, a federal lawsuit that resulted in a landmark 2018 court-ordered settlement agreement requiring sweeping reforms. Nusrat also engages in litigation and advocacy to combat unlawful law enforcement surveillance targeting activists of color who advocate for racial justice. Nusrat is a founder and the first director of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellows Association, and has served as a member of the Fellowship's Board of Trustees.

Previously, Nusrat served as a staff attorney in the ACLU’s National Security Project, where she brought litigation and advocacy against the U.S. government’s No Fly List and post-9/11 discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities. She also previously served as a Karpatkin fellow in 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, the Edward Bullard Distinguished Alumnus Award of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affair, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.  

Nusrat was born in Chicago to immigrants from Bangladesh. She completed her J.D. at Yale Law School and her MPA in International Development at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affair at Princeton University. She graduated from Columbia University with a BA summa cum laude in history and election to Phi Beta Kappa. 

  • 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 National Security Program, Staff Attorney
  • ACLU Racial Justice Program, Staff Attorney
  • ACLU Racial Justice Program, Deputy Director | July 2018 - February 2020
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