Ariel Rawls is an Attorney at Grossman Young & Hammond who focuses her practice on humanitarian immigration and international human rights law. She has represented clients in their petitions for affirmative and defensive asylum, deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture, status under the Violence Against Women Act, and reopening with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Ariel additionally represents clients before INTERPOL, successfully challenging persecutory Red Notices and securing their deletion. Ariel has extensive experience in international human rights law. She has represented clients before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and supported members in sessions of the U.N. Committee Against Torture and the International Law Commission.
Prior to joining the firm, Ariel was an advocate for refugees and immigrants in her community, serving as a student attorney at her law school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic and as Director of the school’s chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (WCL IRAP). She additionally interned at the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. She graduated from American University Washington College of Law magna cum laude and was one of two students in her graduating class to be named by the faculty as an outstanding J.D. graduate. Ariel extensively contributed to her school’s chapters of the International Refugee Assistance Project and International Law Students Association. She additionally co-founded the school’s Refugee Law & Migration Studies Brief.
- JD, American University Washington College of Law, magna cum laude
- Certificate, Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law’s Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
- Certificate, International Criminal Law, War Crimes Research Office at American University Washington College of Law
- BA, Justice Studies, Arizona State University and Barrett, the Honors College, summa cum laude
- District of Columbia Bar
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals, November 2022 – present
- American Society of International Law, January 2022 – present
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, January 2023 – present
- American University Order of the Coif Honor Society, May 2022
- American University Washington College of Law, Outstanding J.D. Graduate, May 2022
- International Refugee Assistance Project, Excellent Case Team Honor as part of IRAP’s Pro Bono Appreciation Week, April 2022
- No Longer Turning a Blind Eye to International Atrocities: Reframing Foreign Officials’ Functional Immunity as a Breach of States’ International Legal Obligations to Effectively Prohibit Derogations from Peremptory Norms, 49 International Journal of Legal Information, 80-101 (Oct. 2021).
- Busting Myths about Forced Migrants: Refugees and Public Benefits, International Refugee Assistance Project.
Professional Activities/Pro Bono
- Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Member, Grossman Young & Hammond Ethics Committee