Miriam Aukerman joined the ACLU of Michigan in December 2010 as the staff attorney for the newly-opened West Michigan Regional Office. In addition to building a robust legal program in West Michigan, Miriam participates in advocacy activities, such as public speaking, media interviews and outreach work to increase understanding of constitutional rights and the ACLU’s work.
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. Miriam litigated numerous high impact cases challenging the legal barriers preventing individuals with criminal records from obtaining housing, employment and education. She also spearheaded a multi-faceted statewide campaign to achieve systemic reform on reentry issues.
For nearly ten years, Miriam has been an active member of both the ACLU of Michigan Western Branch Board and its Lawyers Committee. She has served as a cooperating attorney on many important issues including racial profiling in Grand Rapids and a challenge to a Dearborn ordinance restricting protests, which resulted in a significant Sixth Circuit decision on the right to protest. She also led the ACLU’s election protection efforts in Grand Rapids in 2004 and 2008.
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 was selected for a judicial clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York with Judge Pierre Leval.
The daughter of a minister, Miriam lives with her husband and two children in Grand Rapids.