American Law Institute elects Associate Dean Wadhia to new membership class
January 10, 2022
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, an associate dean at Penn State Law and director of Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, was among 59 new members elected to the American Law Institute.
As the leading independent organization to “produce scholarly work that clarifies, modernizes, and improves the law,” the American Law Institute appoints members from a range of legal backgrounds to serve as voices of leadership on the most pressing issues of the time. Associate Dean Wadhia accepted her elected membership in December as the institute announced its latest class of leaders appointed to uphold its mission to “protect the administration of justice and the rule of law,” President David F. Levi said in an announcement.
“It is an honor to be nominated by my peers and elected to the American Law Institute,” said Associate Dean Wadhia, who teaches doctrinal courses in immigration and asylum and refugee law. “I look forward to having an opportunity to improve the law and to provide guidance to judges, legislatures, and lawyers. I hope to play a role in helping to influence the development of immigration law in collaboration with other members.”
An expert on prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and the intersections of race, national security, and immigration, Wadhia founded Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, which provides students with hands-on training in immigration law through community outreach and education, pro bono legal support, and policy work.
At Penn State Law, Wadhia serves as associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion and as a professor of clinical law. She has been published extensively and is sought after by international media as an authority on immigration law. Her most recent book, “Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump,” examines governmental discretion to protect, detain, and deport immigrants.
“With her commitment to improving immigration law processes and demonstrated achievements in shedding light on injustice, Associate Dean Wadhia is an ideal addition to an American Law Institute membership base that includes the foremost judges, attorneys and law professors in the nation,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) James W. Houck, the interim dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs.
The Philadelphia-based American Law Institute “brings together people to discuss challenging topics in a courteous, informed, collegial, and productive way in an effort to find rules and solutions that work for everyone,” Levi added.
Wadhia joins fellow Penn State Law in University Park faculty members Larry Catá Backer, Stephen S. Dunham, Marie T. Reilly, and Victor C. Romero as members of the American Law Institute.