Annie Lai

Clinical Professor of Law
Annie Lai


Immigration law, civil rights, workers’ rights, clinical legal education


Professor Lai teaches, researches and practices at the intersection of immigrants’ rights, civil rights, immigrant workers’ rights, and criminal law and procedure. Her scholarship has appeared in journals such as the Boston College Law Review, Santa Clara Law Review and Denver Law Review. She is a frequent author of amicus briefs and a regular commentator on immigrants’ rights issues, including state and local immigration policy.

Professor Lai believes that law school clinics have a unique role to play in advancing individual and collective demands for dignity and equality by immigrants, communities of color and youth. She aims to help students develop the strategic vision, knowledge and practical skills necessary to be excellent advocates for these communities.

Prior to joining UCI in 2013, Professor Lai served as a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. She also practiced as a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, where she litigated cases concerning local policing, religious freedom, prisoners’ rights, and other issues, and with the Urban Justice Center Community Development Project in New York, representing immigrant workers on consumer, health and employment matters.

Professor Lai received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where she was a Root Tilden Kern Public Interest Scholar. 

Current Courses:

Advanced Immigrant Rights ClinicAdvanced Immigrant Rights Clinic WCCImmigrant Rights Clinic

Prior Courses:

Immigrant Rights Clinic, Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic, Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, Immigration Legal Services Clinic, Noncitizens in the Criminal Justice System, Fact Investigation, Immigration Law & Policy