What drew you to the law?
Service. Attorneys serve their clients and the public interest by promoting the rule of law. The law is a profession that has allowed me to make my career one of service and I’m proud to belong to the profession.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
As the first in my family to graduate from college, I experienced the transformative effect a public university can have on its students. My college and law school professors taught me to creatively approach social problems through scholarship and, more importantly, not to limit my ambitions. I love watching my own students undergo the same transition.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
Facts, Facts, Facts. No legal rule, statute or policy argument exists in isolation; there are reasons for each and those turn on the underlying facts. My hope is that my students learn how facts can affect outcomes. Whether it’s applying the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act to a particular client’s circumstances to determine if the client can apply for a benefit under the Act, or synthesizing and applying case law regarding whether conduct in the workplace is severe or pervasive enough to constitute a hostile work environment, facts matter.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
I was the legal director of the Nevada Immigrant Rights Project, where I provided legal services for noncitizens, and outreach on immigration-related issues. Prior to that, I was a trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, litigating claims under the federal employment anti-discrimination statutes.
What are you passionate about outside of the law?
Music. I have favorites in almost every genre and spend much of my free time listening to music or attending various concerts.
What are your research interests?
The overarching theme of my scholarship is the tension between institutional systems and individual rights. In particular, I am interested in how legal institutions designed to address issues on a case-by-case basis remedy group problems. My scholarship examines this through the lens of access to courts for victims of systemic employment discrimination and the impact of immigration status on the effective enforcement of laws meant to protect immigrants as individuals.