Nyasa Hickey serves as Immigration Counsel to Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS). She began her work with BDS as a Staff Attorney with the Padilla team providing advice and helping to devise strategies to minimize the immigration impact of clients’ criminal and family court proceedings. She also represented clients in removal defense proceedings and provided assistance to individuals applying for affirmative immigration benefits. In 2016, she became the Supervising Attorney of the Padilla and the Youth & Communities teams’ dedicated attorneys, legal fellows, social workers, and paralegals who represent foreign-born clients who are low-income and are charged with abuse or neglect of their children, are arrested, or face deportation.
Nyasa is an adjunct professor of the Immigration Law Field Clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is also an awardee of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Reciprocal Exchange Component through which Nyasa and a BDS colleague partnered with lawyers in Nigeria to build leadership and capacity for pro bono and legal aid service providers in Nigeria.
Nyasa is a magna cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz with a B.A. degree in both English and Black Studies. Nyasa also participated in Bard College’s Globalization and International Affairs (BGIA) Program and worked as the Program Assistant of New York University’s Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-US-The West. During her studies at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law she focused on practical experiences in human rights issues both internationally in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Haiti, and domestically in prisoner’s rights, immigration, and criminal defense. Nyasa received Cardozo’s Public Law Advocacy Week (P*LAW) INSPIRE Award and Cardozo’s Stanley H. Beckerman Public Interest Award.