Miriam Aukerman is a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. She also manages the ACLU’s West Michigan Regional Office.
Miriam litigates high impact cases on a broad range of civil liberties issues, with a particular focus on immigrant rights, poverty, and criminal justice. Her cases include Barry v. Lyon, which resulted in the return of $50 million in wrongfully withheld food assistance to low-income families; Speet v. Schuette, which struck down Michigan’s anti-begging law as violating the First Amendment; Does v. Snyder, which held that Michigan’s sex offender registration law is unconstitutionally punitive; and One Michigan v. Johnson, which led the Michigan Secretary of State to issue driver’s licenses to immigrant youth who have lawful status under the DACA program (“Dreamers”). Miriam also promotes constitutional rights through media appearances, public education, legislative advocacy and training.
Prior to joining the staff of the ACLU, Miriam worked with Legal Aid of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids, as both a Soros Justice Fellow and then as the founding director of the Reentry Law Project, where she spearheaded a multi-faceted statewide campaign to achieve systemic reform on reentry issues.
Miriam graduated summa cum laude from both Cornell University and the New York University Law School, where she received numerous academic and public interest awards. She was also a Keasbey Scholar at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree with honors in international relations. Following law school, she clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for Judge Pierre Leval. She is a 2012 recipient of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan’s Justice for All Award.
The daughter of a minister, Miriam lives with her husband and two children in Grand Rapids.