Nina Rabin

Director of the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic

  • B.A. Harvard University, 1998
  • J.D. Yale Law School, 2003

Nina Rabin is Director of the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic at UCLA School of Law. She was previously Clinical Professor of Law at University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law where she served as Director of the Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program, an interdisciplinary program on immigration law and policy.

In each of the legal clinics she has developed and directed, Rabin has worked in partnership with community organizations and local institutions to best serve the multi-faceted needs of mixed status families. At the same time, she has undertaken policy research and advocacy to study and document the impact of immigration enforcement on women and families. She has authored articles and reports on the consequences of immigration enforcement for children in immigrant families, working conditions of low-wage immigrant women workers, immigrants’ parental rights, and the treatment of women fleeing gender-based violence in immigration detention. She has spoken extensively on immigration policy issues in a variety of venues, including academic conferences, community forums, and a Congressional briefing. She has also participated in trainings on immigration for attorneys and community leaders. Her publications have appeared in the Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Journal of Law & Education, and Connecticut Law Review, among others.

Prior to her work in Arizona, Rabin clerked for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and practiced in a civil rights law firm in California. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2003 and Harvard College in 1998.


  • Articles And Chapters
    • Second-Wave DREAMers, 42 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev 107. Full Text
    • Sanctuary Schooling: The Norms, Structures, and Practices that Support Immigrant Students (with Karen Hunter Quartz and Marco A. Murillo), in Immigration Enforcement and the Nations Schools, (edited by Jongyeon Ee and Patricia Ga´ndara, Harvard Ed. Press , 2021).
    • Searching for Humanitarian Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Reflections on a Year as an Immigration Attorney in the Trump Era, 53 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 139 (2019). Full Text
    • Youth On Their Own (with Cecilia Menjivar), in Illegal Encounters: The Effect of Detention and Deportation on Young People, (edited by Deborah A. Boehm and Susan J. Terrio, NYU Press, 2019).
    • Understanding Secondary Immigration Enforcement: Immigrant Youth and Family Separation in a Border County, 47 Journal of Law & Education 1 (2018). Full Text
    • Victims or Criminals? Discretion, Sorting, and Bureaucratic Culture in the U.S. Immigration System, 23 Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice 195 (2014). Full Text
    • At the Border between Public and Private: U.S. Immigration Policy for Victims of Domestic Violence, 7 Law & Ethics of Human Rights 109 (2013). Full Text
    • Disappearing Parents: Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System, 44 Connecticut Law Review 99 (2011). Full Text
    • Unseen Prisoners: Women in Immigration Detention Facilities in Arizona, 23 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 695 (2009). Full Text
    • Understanding Plyler’s Legacy: Voices from Border Schools (with Mary Carol Combs and Norma Gonzalez), 37 Journal of Law & Education 15 (2008). Full Text
  • Other Writings
    • She Persisted: Against All Odds, Central American Women at the Border (with Roxana Bacon), Ms. Magazine (Summer 2017).
    • Supreme Court Amicus Brief of Social Science Researchers and Professors in Jennings v. Rodriguez (summarizing the social science research on the harms of prolonged detention for immigrants; updated from previously authored amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit).
    • Out of the Shadows: Shedding Light on the Working Conditions of Immigrant Women in Tucson (with Tiana O’Konek), A Report by the Bacon Immigration Law & Policy Program and the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (September 2014). Full Text
    • California Supreme Court Amicus Brief of California Latino Legislative Caucus in In re Sergio C. Garcia, 315 P.3d 117 (Cal. 2014) (affirming the ability of the California State Bar to admit an undocumented immigrant to practice law).