Michael Kagan

Professor of Law
Director, UNLV Immigration Clinic
Expertise: Immigration Law, International Human Rights Law, Administrative Law


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

Kagan has been published by numerous top law reviews and journals and wrote several of the most widely cited articles in the fields of international refugee and asylum law, which have been relied on by courts in multiple countries.  Kagan’s research on credibility assessment in asylum cases “guided most subsequent research and analysis on the topic,” according to a 2012 commentary. He is frequently interviewed on immigration issues by local, national and global news media, and is a frequent Op-Ed writer, with his work appearing in The Washington PostSalon.comThe Daily BeastWorld Politics Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Before coming to UNLV's Boyd School of Law, Kagan spent 10 years building legal aid programs for refugees throughout the Middle East and Asia, and lived in London, Cairo, Beirut and Jerusalem. He held teaching positions at Tel Aviv University and the American University in Cairo. 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).


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School
  • B.A., Northwestern University

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Michael Kagan In The News

The Nevada Independent
February 12, 2020
A longtime Las Vegas resident and construction worker who has spent months in immigration detention after arrests for minor infractions that were quickly dismissed is suing Las Vegas police and Sheriff Joe Lombardo for their role in landing him in deportation proceedings.
The Hill
January 24, 2020
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employee who captained a detention center in Nevada has been fired for alleged ties to a neo-Nazi website, according to a Vice investigation.
Buzzfeed News
January 15, 2020
Joe Biden, in a swing through Nevada on Saturday, continued to face tough questions and criticism about his defense of the Obama administration’s mass deportations — but that might not stop him from winning Latino votes in the state.
Las Vegas Review Journal
November 13, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case expected to determine whether nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants – 13,000 from Nevada – can stay and work in the United States under a program begun by former President Barack Obama.

Articles Featuring Michael Kagan

Campus NewsFebruary 18, 2020
A collection of news stories capturing the excitement and accomplishments of UNLV at the start of a new decade.
exterior of Boyd School of Law
Business and CommunityJanuary 31, 2020
Service partnership between UNLV Boyd School of Law and CSN demonstrates systemwide dedication to its diverse student population.
football players look up at fireworks display
Campus NewsDecember 2, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
Campus NewsSeptember 18, 2019
NPR’s Leila Fadel will moderate a discussion with scholars in civil rights, political science, and social justice to examine historical and modern-day experiences of Muslims in America.