Leon Wildes, senior partner at Wildes & Weinberg, was singled out by a former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law’s graduation ceremony last week. During the graduation, held at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, Sir Paul received the International Advocate for Peace award from the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. He also was there to see his stepson receive his Juris Doctorate degree.
Leon Wildes’ son Michael is Wildes & Weinberg’s managing partner, and Michael’s wife, Amy Wildes, is an immigration attorney at the firm. Amy and Michael and their two older children all are Cardozo alumni, and Michael is an adjunct professor of law there.
At the graduation, Sir Paul said he is “especially proud to receive the award from Cardozo, which for many years has been known for its work on behalf of peace and justice, helping people who have been wrongfully convicted, and assisting immigrants seeking asylum from violence and poverty. When my mate John Lennon wanted to become an American citizen, he had an immigration fight on his hands with President Nixon. It was a Cardozo professor that won that fight for him — Leon Wildes.”
Leon Wildes is best known for his successful representation of former Beatle John Lennon and his artist wife Yoko Ono in deportation proceedings. Between 1972 and 1976, he represented them in their struggle to remain in the United States, despite the concerted attempts of the Nixon administration to deport them. The case (which included bringing four separate federal lawsuits) resulted in John and Yoko getting their green cards and being able to remain in the United States, and in substantial changes in immigration law.
Wildes & Weinberg has offices in Englewood, New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles.