Ms. Leslye E. Orloff

National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project
Bethesda, Maryland
United States

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement
Economic Security
Public Health & Safety
Racial Equity & Healing
Criminal Justice Reform
Racial Equity & Healing
Social Justice
Civil Rights
Gender Issues
Gender-Based Violence
Immigration & Border Issues


Leslye E. Orloff is the Director of the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) at American University Washington College of Law which advocates for laws, policies and practices that enhance legal options for immigrant women and immigrant victims domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. She founded and directed the Immigrant Women Program at Legal Momentum and the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women. From 1999 through 2011 Ms. Orloff directed Legal Momentum’s (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund’s) Immigrant Women Program (IWP) provided technical assistance, training and advocacy designed to improve access to immigration benefits, the justice system, public benefits, social services and health care. Leslye was a co-founder and co-chair of the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women and is the Washington, D.C. spokesperson for that organization from 1992 through 2011. In that capacity she was involved in drafting the Protection for Immigrant Victims of Violence Against Women of Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and again in 2000 and 2005 and in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and 2008, legal services access for battered immigrants in 1997 and welfare access for battered immigrants in 1996. She has written local and national training curricula, manuals, and story collections bringing immigrant women’s voices to national policy makers. She is a nationally respected trainer of attorneys, victim advocates, police, judges, women’s programs, women executives and health professionals on leadership, public policy advocacy, domestic violence, cultural competency, family law, protection orders, the Violence Against Women's Act's immigration provisions, welfare rights of women immigrant crime victims, the nexus between violence against women and immigration law and the how each of us can become involved locally and/or nationally in making a real difference in the world. During her 17-year litigation career prior to joining Legal Momentum, Leslye founded and directed the domestic violence program at Ayuda, a legal services agency that served the interrelated legal and social service needs of battered immigrant women and children. She has also published numerous social science journal and law review articles on women’s experiences with domestic violence, sexual assault and immigration and immigrant victims' legal rights. Leslye's work on behalf of immigrant women has received national recognition, including the 2012 Daynard Public Interest Fellowship, Northeastern University Law School, the 2007 Sheila Wellstone Award awarded to the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women, the 2007 Annual Rosalynn B. Bell Award, presented to Leslye by the Women’s Law Center of Maryland for her contributions to the field of family law, a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship in 1994 and a Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Law Fellowship in 2002. Leslye received her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles, and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Brandeis University.