Michael Kagan

Director, UNLV Immigration Clinic
Professor of Law
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
May 15, 2022
It was called “The Wave.” The words come rapid-fire, the camera panning over darkened pictures of a border checkpoint and Hispanic men holding guns under a freeway overpass.  
El Mundo
March 14, 2022
"Being able to count on an immigration clinic, which also offers services for free, means a relief for my parents, even for several friends who had not decided to seek legal advice," says Jorge Estrada, a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
The Nevada Independent
February 9, 2022
Cesar Silva — who came to the U.S. illegally three decades ago and is the father of nationally-known Nevada-based immigration activist Astrid Silva — is now the subject of a new bill from Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) that would make him eligible for legal permanent resident status, or at least temporarily halt the threat of deportation.
The Media Line
January 18, 2022
Learn asylum law and procedure, cultural competency, and the practical aspects of an asylum case for Afghan families settling in Nevada.  

Articles Featuring Michael Kagan

Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine graduates line up to cross the commencement stage
Campus News | December 30, 2021

A collection of 2021 headlines highlighting medical school milestones, a steady stronghold on diversity and research rankings, student success, and media mentions featuring faculty experts.

Campus News | September 7, 2021

A collection of news stories highlighting community and perseverance at UNLV.

UNLV nursing student in red shirt reviewing slide sample with peer
Campus News | August 4, 2021

A collection of news stories highlighting research, health, and community at UNLV.