Clare M. Hanusz joined the Immigration Practice Group at Damon Key in an Of Counsel affiliation in October 2013.
Born and raised in Ohio, Clare graduated from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College and first came to Honolulu in 1995. A desire to advocate for immigrants after working with refugees in Arizona spurred Clare on to pursue a career in immigration law, and she enrolled in the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1996.
While a first-year student, she was awarded a fellowship from the National Lawyers Guild for a summer internship with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Florence, Arizona. It was there, in the summer of 1998, that Clare litigated her first deportation case for a Spanish-speaking detainee. Upon returning to Hawaii she continued her work with immigrants, serving on the Board of Directors with Na Loio (now the Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center at Legal Aid) where she also spent a summer as a legal intern.
After graduating from law school in 1999, Clare worked at Na Loio heading up a Neighbor Island immigration project to bring legal services to immigrants in rural and isolated communities.
Since then Clare has represented hundreds of individuals before the immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She has assisted clients with naturalization, adjustment of status, U visas (for immigrant victims of certain serious crimes) and T visas for victims of human trafficking, as well as consular processing, waivers of inadmissibility, asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, religious worker visas and options for immigrant survivors of domestic violence.
Clare is the current Hawaii Chapter Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and previously served as local AILA liaison to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and as co-chair for the Advocacy Committee. She is also a member of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project and a founding member of the Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform. She has partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union to litigate cutting-edge motions to suppress in immigration court and has spoken on immigration issues before many local groups and university classes.
Clare lives in Honolulu with her husband Nevi, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and two children.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Hawaii State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, Hawaii Chapter
- National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Project Member
- Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform
- Hawaii People’s Fund (former Board Member)
- Hawaii (1999)
- U.S. District Court (District of Hawaii)