Julie Axelrod

Chief Litigation Counsel

Julie Axelrod serves as the Chief Litigation Counsel for the Center for Immigration Studies and manages the Center's litigation. Her specialities are environmental and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation. A firm believer in government transparency and a native Californian, she has always had an acute sense of the widely unacknowledged but detrimental effects of out of control immigration on American communities. She is dedicated to uncovering those impacts, particularly on the environment. Ms. Axelrod developed and filed the nation’s first challenges to the Department of Homeland Security’s procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for failing to consider the environmental impact of its immigration policies.

She has served in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Senior Advisor for the Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy, where her portfolio included NEPA compliance, permitting policy, and FOIA. At the EPA, she further developed her NEPA expertise working on an update to the EPA's NEPA regulations under a mandate from the Council for Environmental Quality, and the EPA review process of Environmental Impact Statements under Section 309 of the Clean Air Act.

Ms. Axelrod’s background in immigration was developed as Senior Counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, where she litigated numerous FOIA claims relating to immigration against a number of federal agencies, and first developed her environmental practice. She also served as Government Relations Counsel for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, where she followed legislative and policy developments on immigration.

Ms. Axelrod first learned transparency litigation as a staff attorney at Judicial Watch, Inc., one of the nation’s most prominent government watchdog groups, where she litigated numerous cases fighting against corruption and for the rule of law. Besides filing FOIA cases, she assisted in challenges to the Houston, Texas Police Department’s sanctuary policy for illegal aliens and a Montgomery County, Maryland College’s policy of granting in-state and in-county tuition to illegal aliens.

Before moving to Washington, D.C., Ms. Axelrod was an associate at the leading global law firm of Mayer Brown, LLP in Palo Alto, California. She clerked for the Honorable James Lawrence King in the Southern District of Florida upon graduating law school from the UCLA School of Law. She graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Classics. She is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, California, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Southern District of California, the Northern District of California, the Central District of California, the Eastern District of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.