Michael Kagan

Michael Kagan

Professor of Law

Director of the Immigration Clinic

Michael Kagan's image
Areas of expertise:

Administrative Law, Criminal Law, First Amendment, International Human Rights Law, Immigration Law, Professional Ethics


Michael Kagan directs the Immigration Clinic and teaches administrative law, professional responsibility, international human rights and immigration law.  In both his research and his clinical teaching, Prof. Kagan focuses on the tension between immigration law and civil rights.

Prof. Kagan’s writing has been published by Georgetown Law Journal, Washington University Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, and in online editions of California Law Review and Michigan Law Review, among others.  He is also a frequent Op-Ed writer, with his work appearing in The Washington Post, Salon.com, The Daily Beast, and World Politics Review. He writes regularly for Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice and Comment, among other legal blogs.

In partnership with Prof. Fatma Marouf (Texas A&M) and Prof. Rebecca Gill (UNLV-Political Science) Prof. Kagan is leading an empirical study about how the federal courts adjudicate immigration appeals. Their initial findings on the impact of masculinity on the behavior of federal judges were highlighted in The Wall Street Journal.

Before coming to Boyd, Prof. Kagan held teaching positions at Tel Aviv University and the American University in Cairo.  He wrote several of the most widely cited articles in the fields of refugee and asylum law, which have been relied on by multiple federal courts of appeals, and by courts in Israel and New Zealand.  Prof. Kagan’s research on credibility assessment in asylum cases “guided most subsequent research and analysis on the topic,” according to a 2012 commentary. He spent 10 years building legal aid programs for refugees throughout the Middle East and Asia, and lived in London, Cairo, Beirut and Jerusalem. His role in expanding refugee legal aid in the global south was profiled in Zachary Kaufman’s Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012). 

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