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Center Director; Professor, Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic

Benjamin Casper (’97) joined the faculty as a visiting associate professor in 2013. He teaches the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic, which engages students in strategic impact litigation on behalf of immigrants and refugees. He has more than 16 years of experience litigating cases before immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor, Detainee Rights Clinic

Linus Chan joined the faculty at the end of 2013 as a visiting associate professor of clinical law. Prior to joining the Center for New Americans, he taught at the DePaul College of Law in Chicago and at the DePaul Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic. He has practiced immigration law for more than 10 years with a focus on representing people who are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He teaches the newly formed Detainee Rights clinic which provides representation and support for those facing removal from the United States detained in the Twin Cities area.

Professor, Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Stephen Meili is the Vaughan G. Papke Clinical Professor in Law and the Supervising Attorney in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, where students represent asylum-seekers and detained individuals in various immigration and appellate court proceedings. His teaching interests include human rights and immigration law, civil procedure, consumer law, and legal practice.

Director, Education and Outreach Program

Nancy Cook is director of the Lawyering Program and co-holder of the Vaughan G. Papke Professorship in Clinical Law. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota faculty, Professor Cook was a tenured professor at Roger Williams University School of Law and director of that school's Community Justice and Legal Assistance Clinic. A nationally recognized leader in clinical legal education, Professor Cook has served on the executive committee of the Association of American Law School's Clinical Section and on the Clinical Legal Education Association's board of directors. She has been a member of the Board of Governors for the Society of American Law Teachers since 2001.

Teaching Fellows

Julia Decker (’14) joined the Center for New Americans as a teaching fellow in June 2015. She supervises students representing noncitizens in federal court through the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic, as well as students representing asylum-seekers in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic.

Kate Evans joined the Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School as a teaching fellow in October 2013. She co-teaches the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic and supervises students representing noncitizens before U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Evans also oversees law students in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic representing asylum-seekers before the Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Her research interests center on the intersection of criminal and immigration law.

Program Coordinator

Kjerstin Sanden became the Center's first Program Coordinator in January 2014. She is a graduate of Concordia College and previously worked for a human rights organization in Argentina serving immigrants and refugees. Kjerstin coordinates all three of the Center's clinics, trains students as well as Center volunteers, and facilitates education and outreach programming. Kjerstin founded and now directs the Center's volunteer Translation and Interpretation Program (TIPs) which provides the Center's clinics and partners with essential services in over 15 foreign languages.