Fatima Afia is a cannabis attorney at Hiller, PC, specializing in regulatory compliance, commercial transactions, state licensing, and advocacy and policy matters. Fatima has a background in land use and landmarks law matters, civil and business/commercial litigation, and disability insurance law. As a litigator, Fatima was an instrumental member of the litigation team that brought a case entitled Washington v. Barr against the federal government, seeking a declaration that the federal law criminalizing cannabis is unconstitutional. As part of her work in Washington v. Barr, Fatima successfully secured overwhelming amicus support before the U.S. Supreme Court from seven members of Congress, 19 disparate and highly regarded organizations, and two eminent cannabis researchers and scientists. In connection with her disability insurance work, she helped secure and maintain disability benefits for clients from some of the largest disability insurance companies in the United States, playing a vital role in the firm's successful administrative appeal against Unum Insurance Company which resulted in an award of approximately $1 million in retroactive benefits for the client.
As a cannabis attorney, Fatima assists cannabis clients navigate the legal cannabis and hemp industry in various jurisdictions including New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Fatima is also a social equity advocate, providing instrumental testimony to the Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts in 2019 which resulted in an expedited license application-review process for women-and-minority-owned businesses that were unfairly excluded from the regulatory definition of a social equity applicant. And Fatima is an article contributor for Marijuana Venture, is the Continuing Legal Education Committee Co-Chair for the International Cannabis Bar Association (“INCBA”), and she was the Moot Court Winner at the Medical Cannabis Conference held at Columbia University in 2019.
Prior to working at Hiller, PC, Fatima attended Brooklyn Law School where she graduated in the top 20% percent of her graduating class. During her time at Brooklyn Law School, Fatima served as a Clerk for the Honorable Ellen Gesmer of the New York Supreme Court where she prepared Pendente Lite Orders in Matrimonial actions; she interned in a highly-coveted clinic with the New York City Law Department, representing the City of New York and its employees in a variety of civil lawsuits; and she interned with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, representing the State of New York in protecting minority home buyers against predatory lending practices employed by banks across the State and ensuring that minority/small business owners were being treated fairly by general contractors bidding on government contracts.
A passionate and fearless attorney, Fatima offers high-quality legal services to individuals and businesses. Her creative problem-solving skills have enabled her to provide her clients with positive results and favorable outcomes they deserve. She offers personalized attention and remains in close contact with her clients at all times.
Practice areasCannabis law, Civil litigation: plaintiff, Land use/zoning
- 80% Cannabis law
- 10% Civil litigation: plaintiff
- 10% Land use/zoning
First Admitted: 2017, New York
Professional Webpage: http://www.hillerpc.com/our-team/fatima-afia/
- Member, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society
- Recipient, CALI Excellence Award in Practice-Ready Legal Research
- Associate Managing Editor, Brooklyn Law Journal of Law and Policy
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice, B.A. (2011), Forensic Psychology, Summa Cum Laude
- New York, 2017
Office location for Fatima V. Afia
641 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
- Rising Stars: 2021 - 2022