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Professor Lindsay M. Harris

Lindsay M. Harris
Assistant Professor of Law

B.A., University of California, San Diego; J.D., University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), L.L.M., Georgetown University Law Center.

Lindsay Harris is an assistant professor of law at UDC David A. Clarke School of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. Professor Harris has also taught Asylum and Refugee Law and the service-learning course. She serves as faculty co-advisor for the LatinX Law Student Association.

Prior to joining the faculty at UDC, Professor Harris spent a year with the American Immigration Council focused on efforts to end the detention of immigrant families seeking protection in the United States, as part of the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow and later a staff attorney, she launched and led the African Women’s Empowerment Project at the Tahirih Justice Center, conducting outreach to and representing survivors of gender-based violence in the DC metro area. Immediately following graduation from law school, Professor Harris clerked for the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professor Harris previously taught for two years as a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Supervising Attorney in Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Legal Studies, supervising students representing detained and non-detained asylum seekers in immigration court. She also developed and taught the Refugee and Asylum Law Course at George Mason University School of Law for two years as an Adjunct Professor while in practice.

Professor Harris is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of California, San Diego, where she was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt College Global Service Award and holds degrees in International Studies – Anthropology and Psychology. Professor Harris earned her J.D. from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) where she graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif, and served as a student leader of the California Asylum Representation Clinic, the Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights, the Boalt Hall Women’s Association, and on the editorial staff of the Berkeley Journal of International Law. As a law student, she worked with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and was a Berkeley Human Rights Center Fellow in South Africa. For her work in Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Clinic and the East Bay Community Law Center's Health and Immigration Unit, Professor Harris was awarded the Sax Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy. Professor Harris holds an L.L.M in Advocacy, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center.

Professor Harris’ research examines the human outcomes of immigration laws and policies. Her publications address contemporary issues in asylum law and policy, including gender-based and gang-related asylum claims. Professor Harris’ research frequently looks beyond the law, employing social science research methods to assess the efficacy of laws and policies, for example those designed to facilitate the integration of individuals granted asylum in the United States. She has been invited to speak across the United States and in Canada on asylee integration, gender-based and gang-based asylum claims, the detention of immigrant families, the use of experts in asylum cases, public interest legal careers, and clinical legal education.

Professor Harris speaks French and is a member of the California bar. She serves on the board of the Clinical Legal Education Association and also as Vice-Chair of the board of local non-profit the Asylum Seeker Assistance Project. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, has served on a number of local AILA committees and current serves as Vice-Chair of the National Asylum and Refugee committee.


  • Learning in Baby Jail: Lessons from Law Student Engagement in Family Detention Centers, __ Clinical L. Rev. __ (forthcoming Nov. 2018)
  • Contemporary Family Detention and Legal Advocacy, 21 Harvard Latino L. Rev. __ (forthcoming May 2018)
  • The One-Year Bar to Asylum in the Age of the Immigration Court Backlog, Wis. L. Rev. Vol. 2016:1185 (2017)
  • From Surviving to Thriving? An Investigation of Asylee Integration in the United States, N.Y.U Rev. of L. & Social Change, Vol. 40:29 (2016)
  • Preserving the One Year Filing Deadline for Cases Stuck in the Immigration Court Backlog, Practice Advisory, American Immigration Council (2016) (co-authored with Sandra Grossman)
  • Expert Evidence in Gender-Based Asylum Cases: Cultural Translation for the Court, Benders Immigration Bulletin Vol. 17(22) (2012)
  • Matter of S-E-G-: A Final Nail in the Coffin of Gang-Related Asylum Cases?, Berkeley La Raza L.J. Vol. 20 (2010) (co-authored with Morgan M. Weibel)
  • Untold Stories: Gender-related Persecution and Asylum in South Africa, 15 Mich. J. Gender & L. 291 (2009)

Short Pieces, Blogs, & Op Eds

Speaking Engagements

Academic Presentations:

  • Panelist, Teaching the Whole Lawyer: Deliberate, Mindful and Culturally Conscious Professional Identity Formation, American Association of Law Schools Clinical Conf., Chicago, IL, May 1, 2018 (invited)
  • Keynote, Embracing the Roots of the Social Work Mission: Social Justice and Advocacy in the Nation’s Capital, University of the District of Columbia, Social Work Program, Mar. 2, 2018 (invited)
  • Learning in Baby Jail: Lessons from Law Student Engagement in Immigrant Family Detention Centers, MidAtlantic Clinicians’ Workshop, Jan. 12, 2018
  • Learning in Baby Jail: Lessons from Law Student Engagement in Immigrant Family Detention Centers, Northwest Clinicians Conference, Nov. 3, 2017
  • Panelist & Discussion Leader, Responding to the Needs of Evening Students: The Night Owl Clinician, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference, Boca Raton, FL, Aug. 5, 2017
  • Panelist, Responding to the Needs of Evening Students: The Night Owl Clinician, American Association of Law Schools Clinical Conference, Denver, CO, May 7, 2017
  • The One-Year Bar in the Age of the Immigration Court Backlog, New York University Clinical Law Review, Clinical Writers’ Workshop, Sept. 24, 2016
  • From Surviving to Thriving: An Investigation of Asylee Integration in the United States, Emerging Immigration Scholars’ Conference, University of Miami School of Law, June 11, 2015
  • From Surviving to Thriving: An Investigation of Asylee Integration in the United States, New York University Clinical Law Review, Clinical Writers’ Workshop, Sept. 27, 2014
  • Plenary Session Panelist: Expanding the Role of the Expert, Refugees, Asylum, Law & Expert Testimony, Conable Conf. in Int’l Studies, Rochester Inst. of Tech., NY, Apr. 12-14, 2012
  • Paper Presentation: Expert Evidence in Asylum Proceedings: Cultural Translation for the Court, Refugees, Asylum, Law & Expert Testimony, Conable Conf. in Int’l Studies, Rochester Inst. of Tech., NY, Apr. 12-14, 2012
  • Protecting Immigrant Women & Girls Facing Gender-Based Violence, The Ved Nanda Center for International & Comparative Law, Univ. of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Oct. 7, 2011
  • Panelist, Current Issues in Asylum Law, with Professor K. Abrams and Professor J. Ramji-Nogales, Univ. of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia, April 13, 2011
  • Paper Presentation: Matter of S-E-G-: A Final Nail in the Coffin of Gang-Related Asylum Cases?, Centre for Refugee Studies Annual Conference at York Univ., Toronto, Canada, April 16, 2009
  • Panelist following Keynote Speech by Jacqueline Bhabha- Ineffective Citizenship: The Engine of Global Child Trafficking, Human Rights & Global Citizenship Symposium, Univ. of CA, San Diego, Nov. 21, 2008

Guest Lectures & Other Speaking Engagements at Law Schools/for Students:

  • Moderator, Pathways to Practice: Trends in Immigration Law, Univ. of the District of Columbia David. A. Clarke School of Law, Feb. 15, 2018
  • Guest-Lecturer, Detaining Immigrant Families, Tulane Univ. School of Law, invited by Professor Laila L. Hlass, Nov. 9, 2017
  • Panelist, Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health, Law, & Policy, Georgetown Univ. Law Center, Oct. 26, 2016
  • The Central American Refugee Crisis: The Government’s Deterrence Response and Advocacy and Legal Counter Strategies, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic Seminar, Harvard Law School, March 23, 2016
  • Panelist, Ending Family Detention: How Can We Establish Durable Barriers to Prevent the Mass Incarceration of Children and Asylum-Seekers?, Yale Law School Fifth Annual Immigration Litigation Roundtable, Dec. 11-12, 2015
  • Panelist -- Law Firm/Law School/NGO Collaboration on Refugee Rights Pro Bono Projects, ABA Section on International Law, Spring Meeting, Washington DC, May 1, 2015
  • Guest Speaker, Declaration Drafting, Georgetown Univ. Law Center, Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, April 15, 2015
  • Guest Lecture -- Gender-Based Asylum, Georgetown Univ. Law Center Refugee Law Course, invited to guest lecture by Immigration Judge and Adjunct Professor Paul Schmidt, Nov. 14, 2013
  • Panelist -- Upcoming Trends in Public Interest Legal Careers, Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair, Crystal City, VA, Oct. 26, 2013
  • Panelist, Immigration Law Careers, George Mason Univ. School of Law, Jan. 17, 2013
  • Guest Lecture -- Gender-Based Asylum Law, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, invited by Professor Shoba Wadhia, Oct. 15, 2012
  • Webinar Panelist, Summer Success: Getting the Most from Your Summer Public Interest Experience, National Association of Legal Professionals, May 23, 2012
  • One Year Bar and Gender-Based Asylum Cases, Training for California Asylum Representation Clinic Students, Univ. of California Berkeley School of Law, Sept. 29, 2011
  • Guest Lecture -- Gender and Immigration in the United States, Georgetown Law School’s Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Fellows Seminar, Feb. 7, 2011
  • Guest Lecture -- The International Refugee System, Peace and Conflict Studies Introduction to Human Rights Course, Univ. of California Berkeley, Fall 2007 and 2008

Practitioner Oriented Trainings:

  • Panelist and Discussion Leader, Surviving Asylum Processing Backlogs, American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 22, 2017
  • Panelist and Moderator, Timely Asylum Applications and Court Backlogs: Mission Impossible?, American Immigration Lawyers Association, webinar, Dec. 13, 2016
  • Panelist, Cases Stuck at USCIS: Strategies, American Immigration Lawyers Association DC Chapter Conference, Nov. 16, 2016
  • Moderator, Challenging Family Detention, American Immigration Council Annual Litigation Strategy Meeting, Washington DC, July 15, 2016
  • Panelist, Hot Topics in Immigration Policy, American Immigration Council Open House, Washington DC, March 4, 2016
  • Panelist, Ending and Overcoming Detention, American Immigration Lawyers Association Asylum Conference, San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 8, 2016
  • Guest Speaker, Asylee Integration and Benefits, Human Rights First Washington DC, New York, and Houston staff, Washington DC, Dec. 3, 2015
  • Panelist, Promoting Gender-Related Domestic Asylum Rights Through International Litigation, American Bar Association’s International Law Section Fall Meeting, Montreal, Canada, Oct. 21, 2015
  • Protection for Survivors of Domestic Violence after Matter of A-R-C-G-, Elon University School of Law, Humanitarian Immigration Law Seminar, Greensboro, NC, July 31, 2015
  • Panelist -- Asylum Granted: Case Not Closed, American Immigration Lawyer’s Association Annual Conference, Washington DC, June 19, 2015
  • Chasing Freedom: Issues in Advanced Asylum, Panelist with Judge Davis of the Fourth Cir. Ct of Appeals, American Immig. Lawyer’s Association DC Chapter Annual Conference, Nov. 13, 2014
  • Advanced Topics: Particular Social Group, Catholic Legal Immig. Network Annual Convening, Washington DC, May 23, 2013
  • Gender-Based Asylum, DC Bar Association Advanced Asylum Training, Mar. 22, 2013
  • Gender Based Asylum Law, Training for pro bono attorneys, with CAIR Coalition, Jan. 15, 2013
  • Asylum Law, DC Bar Association Asylum Training for pro bono attorneys, Feb. 3, 2012
  • Gender-Based Asylum, Elon Univ. School of Law, Humanitarian Immigration Law Seminar, Greensboro, North Carolina, April 29, 2011
  • Gender-Based Asylum: Practice Tips and Emerging Issues, DC Bar Assoc’n Advanced Asylum Law Training, April 15, 2011
  • Gender-Based Asylum, training for pro bono attorneys at various DC area law firms and internal training for new staff and interns at Tahirih Justice Center (Nov. 2010 – June 2013)

Public Speaking Engagements:

  • Speaker & Panel Moderator, Fighting for Immigrant Women and Children in Detention: A National Volunteer Movement, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Gender Justice Conference, Oct. 17, 2017
  • Speaker, Asylum Law in the United States, Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Life Skills Group for Asylum Seekers, Washington DC, April 13, 2015
  • Speaker, Violence Against Women Act, Trafficking Visas,, May 2014
  • Speaker, Inter-African Committee USA, High Level Event on Harmful Traditional Practices, Ethiopian Embassy, Washington DC, May 16, 2012
  • Speaker, Ethiopian Community Dev’t Council Annual Conference, Arlington, VA, May 4, 2012
  • Panelist, Gender Justice in Africa, Women United for the Advancement of African Countries Conference and Expo, Boston, MA, June 15, 2011
  • Panelist, RUINED, Post-production panelist for a play on gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Arena Stage Theater, Washington DC, May 13, 2011

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