What excites you most about joining the new law school faculty?
Too many things. As the most junior member of the UCI faculty, it’s hard not to feel all the excitement that comes with being a rookie on an all-star team.
Why did you go into law teaching? What is your teaching style?
Like many in my generation, I was moved intellectually and politically by conversations taking place in my Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies classes in college. Law school, and specifically law teaching, has enabled me to professionally engage and give expression to the ideas espoused by these progressive movements. In terms of teaching style, I have been on the receiving end of fantastic mentorship, and so I am committed to “paying it forward” to my own students. For me, being a professor of course involves teaching, but it also means mentoring, and often can require advocating for my students.
Describe your scholarship.
Taking an expansive view of non-citizen rights, I am interested in a wide range of questions concerning immigration law and policy. Lately, I have been preoccupied with the administrative aspects of immigration law, and have sought to understand how enforcement realities interact with and shape actual immigration policy. As it turns out, the immigration laws that formally exist on the books implicate the least interesting questions about the lives of immigrants. Rather, the more interesting questions are those that arise once we begin examining how, against whom, and on what basis those laws are actually enforced.
What inspired you to go to law school?
I was putting together a syllabus for an undergraduate Asian American Studies course I was teaching, when I came across some articles by critical race scholars. The sense of purpose and the anxious undertones of hope I felt within those articles made me want to teach and write about the law for a living.
What are you most excited about doing in the first two years of the law school?
I’m most excited about building a school dedicated to law and social justice. As a school that is both public in nature and elite in aspiration, UCI is well-situated to positively affect its surrounding communities while making a national and global impact. (Second on my list of things I’m excited about doing: starting a faculty basketball team.)