Nicholas Espíritu

Lecturer in Law

  • B.A. San Jose State University, 2001
  • J.D. UCLA School of Law, 2004

Nicholas Espíritu teaches Voting Rights and the Immigration Policy Clinic at UCLA School of Law.

Espíritu has served as counsel or amicus counsel on numerous voting rights related cases, including Sanchez v. ModestoAbbott v. PerezArizona v. Inter Tribal CouncilEvenwel v. Abbott, and Coral Construction, Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco.  His immigrants’ rights litigation includes challenges to governmental policies discriminating against noncitizens, including the Trump Administrations’ Muslim Ban, the discriminatory expansion of the public charge rule, and Arizona’s S.B. 1070. He was also part of the team of legal advisors to the undocumented activists who pushed the Obama administration to implement DACA. 

Espíritu is currently a Supervising Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center where he focuses on promoting the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation and administrative advocacy. Previously, Espíritu was an attorney at the national office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund as well as a senior researcher in the Critical Race Studies Program at UCLA School of Law. He was the Constance Baker Motley Fellow at Equal Justice Society and Thurgood Marshall Fellow at Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. He was also a lecturer at USC Gould School of Law where he taught Critical Race Theory.

Espíritu received his B.A. in Sociology from San Jose State University and his J.D., with a concentration in Critical Race Studies, from UCLA School of Law. His writings have appeared in Just Security, University of Cincinnati Social Justice BlogUniversity of Miami Inter-American Law ReviewAztlan, and Cleveland State Law Review.

Follow him on twitter @NicoEspiritu9