Michael Kagan, Director
Prof. Kagan is a noted scholar of international refugee law and immigrant rights in the United States. Before coming to Boyd in 2011, Prof. Michael Kagan spent 10 years building legal aid programs for refugees throughout the Middle East and Asia. In addition to directing the UNLV Immigration Clinic, he has consulted on hundreds of criminal cases involving non-citizens with the Clark County Public Defender. Visit Prof. Kagan's faculty page for more about his scholarship and teaching.
Paloma Guerrero, Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow
Paloma Guerrero has a B.A. in philosophy from UNLV and a J.D. from the Boyd School of Law. She is the Immigration Clinic's first Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow and primarily represents detained immigrants in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. She has had experience with U Visa and VAWA cases at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and previously worked with the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice in Louisiana. In 2019, she worked at the Office of the Governor of Nevada, where she worked on the legislation establishing the Nevada Office for New Americans.
Martha Menendez, Bernstein Senior Fellow
A graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, Ms. Menendez is a human rights and immigration attorney with over 7 years of experience in asylum and refugee law. Her work on various aspects of immigration legal assistance, public advocacy, and community empowerment have solidified her faith in the influence that education and committed advocacy can wield in eradicating discrimination and changing people's lives. As a daughter of immigrants and a first-generation American, Martha has devoted her career to promoting the rights of everyone to live and work across borders without fear and with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve. Martha began her legal career as a legal advocate with Asylum Access in Guayaquil, Ecuador and has since worked in various roles within prominent non-profit organizations including CUNY Citizenship Now! and Nevada Legal Services. She has also served as Nevada Chapter President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and is a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Citizen Review Board.
Michael Shamoon, University Legal Services Fellow
Michael Shamoon completed his B.A. in political science and French at UNLV, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2016. He received his J.D. from the William S. Boyd School of Law in 2019. An immigrant from Iraq, he encountered many of the obstacles that immigrants face today. His experience with the system inspired him to pursue a legal education with a focus in immigration. As a law student, he worked with refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied minors. As head of the University Legal Services project, he represents UNLV and CSN students, staff, and their family members in immigration matters. Mr. Shamoon is fluent in Arabic and French. In his free time, he enjoys traveling abroad and immersing himself in the diverse languages and cultures of the world.
Martha Arellano, Legal Secretary
Martha Arellano is originally from Los Angeles, California, where she grew up speaking English and Spanish. Ms. Arellano's love of language led her to expand on her formal English education to also study Spanish and French. She is a twenty-seven year resident of Las Vegas, Nevada and former UNLV engineering student, where she maintained a 4.0 GPA. In 2014, Ms. Arellano began working at the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic and was instrumental in the implementation of the AmeriCorps program for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children, the predecessor of the Edward M. Bernstein and Associates Children's Rights Program. Over the last few years at the Clinic, she has served as an interpreter, translator, administrative assistant, and legal secretary. She has been described as the program's "heart and soul."