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

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.
KLAS-TV: 8 News Now
November 13, 2019
There are more than 12,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program recipients here in Nevada, including UNLV students. A few held a rally on campus today to show their support for the program.
KVVU-TV: Fox 5
November 13, 2019
As the Supreme Court reviews the Trump administration’s push to end protections for recipients of the DACA program, "Dreamers" in Las Vegas held a “Defend DACA” rally at UNLV Tuesday.
Associated Press
October 25, 2019
The city of Las Vegas has joined Clark County in suspending warrantless detention of arrestees at the request of federal immigration authorities, pulling two of the largest jails in Nevada from the program and prompting warnings from federal officials of threats to public safety.

Articles Featuring Michael Kagan

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.