Alissa Cooley

Managing Attorney, UNLV Immigration Clinic
Expertise: Immigration law, Family law, Record sealing


Alissa Cooley is the managing attorney for the UNLV Immigration Clinic, a Boyd School of Law community resource that provides free assistance with DACA renewals, deportations, unaccompanied children, and related issues.

After graduating cum laude from UNLV's law school in 2014, Cooley became one of the first two justice AmeriCorps fellows at the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic, effectively jumpstarting the growth of the UNLV Immigration Clinic as a legal aid provider. She spent two years representing and securing asylum, special immigrant juvenile visas, and residency for more than 100 unaccompanied children and teens in immigration court proceedings. 

From 2016 to 2021, Cooley went into private practice, primarily focusing on immigration cases including family-based petitions, Violence Against Women Act, non-immigrant U and T visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), residency, naturalization, removal defense, and asylum. The native Nevadan — who also assisted clients with appeals, record sealing, and family law — has helped shape state law regarding SIJS in two published Nevada appellate decisions.  

After co-teaching UNLV’s Policing and Protest Clinic in 2021, Cooley returned to Boyd full-time to lead the Immigration Clinic's Community Advocacy Office in downtown Las Vegas.

She is a member of the Lt. Governor’s Keep Nevada Working Task Force. Cooley additionally volunteers with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Nevada Legal Services, City of Las Vegas, Somos Votantes, PLAN, Asian Community Development Council, and Al Otro Lado's Border Rights Project.

Alissa Cooley In The News

K.T.N.V. T.V. ABC 13
April 21, 2022
On Thursday, the UNLV Immigration Clinic and UNLV Student Government are hosting an all-day DACA renewal and citizenship resource fair.
Nevada Current
April 21, 2022
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is joining a handful of moderate Democrats pushing back on President Joe Biden’s plan to roll back a Trump-era immigration policy that prevented asylum-seekers from entering the U.S.
April 19, 2022
On the Southern border the chorus is growing louder with a single overarching question: what is the plan?
Nevada Current
April 8, 2022
Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto is among a small group of Senate Democrats opposing the Biden administration’s decision to end a Trump-era policy that essentially shut down America’s asylum system.

Articles Featuring Alissa Cooley

UNLV Football players entering Allegiant Stadium
Campus News | May 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

Alissa Cooley and Katelyn Franklin
Business and Community | January 6, 2016

Thanks to Justice Americorps Grant, Las Vegas is one of the few places in the nation where unaccompanied children receive free legal representation in court.