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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law
Jennifer Koh

Jennifer Koh

Associate Professor of Law
Co-Director Nootbaar Institute for Law
Religion and Ethics
Caruso School of Law


Professor Jennifer Koh joined the Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty in 2021 and brings an extensive background in teaching, scholarship and service to the law school. Her research focuses on the convergence of the immigration enforcement and criminal legal systems; the legal frameworks governing deportation, particularly streamlined procedures taking place outside the immigration courts; and the federal courts' treatment of immigration claims. Her scholarship has appeared in journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Washington University Law Review, Southern California Law Review, Stanford Law Review Online, Duke Law Journal Online, North Carolina Law Review, Florida Law Review, and Wisconsin Law Review. Various federal courts—including the United States Supreme Court—have cited Professor Koh's scholarship. She has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Law360, Orange County Register and various other media outlets and podcasts.

Professor Koh teaches Criminal Law and Evidence at Pepperdine. She has also taught doctrinal courses in Immigration Law, Administrative Law and the Legal Profession, and directed clinical programs and supervised students in a wide range of immigration matters. Most recently, she held visiting faculty positions at UC Irvine School of Law and the University of Washington School of Law. She began her teaching career as a teaching fellow and lecturer at Stanford Law School, and served on the full-time faculty at Western State College of Law.

Professor Koh joins the law school as the Co-Director of the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics. She has written about the impact of Christians conceptions of love on immigration law discourse in the U.S., and has spoken on immigration and social justice to numerous faith-based audiences across the country. For the past decade, she has been active at NewSong Church in Santa Ana, CA.

Much of Professor Koh's career has been devoted to serving immigrant communities and advancing social justice amongst underserved populations. She helped found the nonprofit organization the Orange County Justice Fund in 2017, and continues to serve on its Board of Directors. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Public Law Center. She is a recipient of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association's Attorney of the Year Award and the Ethnic Studies Award from Chapman University's Attallah College of Educational Studies.

Professor Koh received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. from Yale University. Earlier in her career, she clerked for the Honorable Eugene H. Nickerson of the Eastern District of New York, directed a community lawyering project aimed at serving Asian immigrant survivors of domestic abuse at Sanctuary for Families' Center for Battered Women's Legal Services in New York City, and a litigation associate in the New York and Palo Alto offices of the law firm WilmerHale.


  • Columbia Law School (JD '01)
  • B.A., Yale University (1998)

Executive Defiance and the Deportation State, 130 Yale Law Journal 948 (2021) SSRN

Downsizing the Deportation State, __ Harvard Law & Policy Review __ (forthcoming 2021)

Barricading the Immigration Courts, 69 Duke Law Journal Online 48 (2020) SSRN

Crimmigration Beyond the Headlines: The Board of Immigration Appeals' Quiet Expansion of the Meaning of Moral Turpitude, 71 Stanford Law Review Online 267 (2019) SSRN

Reflections on Elitism After the Closing of a Clinic: Pedagogy, Justice and Scholarship, 26 Clinical Law Review 263 (2019) SSRN

Looking Ahead at Vagueness Claims Post-Dimaya, 48 Southwestern Law Review 525 (2019) (symposium remarks) SSRN

When Shadow Removals Collide: Searching for Solutions to the Legal Black Holes Created by Expedited Removal and Reinstatement, 96 Washington University Law Review 337 (2018) SSRN

Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court, 90 Southern California Law Review 181 (2017) SSRN

Anticipating Expansion, Committing to Resistance: Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court Under Trump, 43 Ohio Northern Law Review 459 (2017) (symposium essay) SSRN

Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, 2016 Wisconsin Law Review 1127 (2016) SSRN

Integrating Skills and Collaborating Across Law Schools: An Example from Immigration Law, 16 Nevada Law Journal 147 (2015) (with Anna Welch) SSRN

Rethinking Removability, 65 Florida Law Review 1803 (2013) SSRN

Waiving Due Process (Goodbye): Stipulated Orders of Removal and the Crisis in Immigration Adjudication, 91 North Carolina Law Review 475 (2013) SSRN

The Whole Better than the Sum: A Case for the Categorical Approach to Determining the Immigration Consequences of Crime, 26 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 257 (2012) SSRN

Teaching Individual Representation Alongside Institutional Advocacy Projects: Pedagogical Implications of a Combined Advocacy Clinic, 16 Clinical Law Review 451 (2010) (with Jayashri Srikantiah) SSRN


Agape Love, Grace and Immigration: An Evangelical Perspective, book chapter in AGAPE, JUSTICE AND LAW: HOW MIGHT CHRISTIAN LOVE SHAPE LAW? (Robert Cochran and Zachary Calo, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017) (book chapter) SSRN

Suzanne Monyak, Barrett's Textualism Could Doom Immigration Challenges, Law 360, Sept. 28, 2020

Blanca Ramirez, Interview with Professor Jennifer Lee Koh, USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration Blog, Dec. 5, 2019

Suzanne Monyak, Barr to Rethink When Theft Should Trigger Deportation, Law 360, November 22, 2019

Suzanne Monyak, Confused About Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude? Join the Club, Law 360, June 16, 2019

Cindy Knoebel, Women on the Frontlines of Immigration: Interview with Jennifer Lee Koh, Imm-Print, April 18, 2019

Police Force You've Likely Never Heard of Accused of Helping ICE Detain People Illegally, NBC Los Angeles News, March 21, 2019

Immigration Law and Reform with Professor Jennifer Koh, McGeorge School of Law Capital Center for Law & Policy Podcast, January 17, 2019

Jennifer Lee Koh & Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Deport, Not Court? The U.S. is Already Doing That, Los Angeles Times (op-ed), July 2, 2018 (op-ed)

Henry Gass, With 'Zero Tolerance,' New Strain on Already Struggling Immigration Courts, Christian Science Monitor, July 9, 2018

Salvador Rizzo, President Trump's Misconceptions About Immigration Courts and Law, Washington Post, July 26, 2018

Bernice Yeung, ICE Tried to Deport Children Applying for Green Cards; The Courts Stopped it, Reveal, June 22, 2018

Claudia Shambaugh, Ask A Leader: Jennifer Koh, KUCI Radio, October 9, 2018

Patrick Michels, Profitable Policing, Reveal, Sept. 22, 2017

Yvette Cabrera, The Unlikely Story of the Undocumented Attorneys Fighting for the Lives of their Undocumented Clients, Think Progress, August 15, 2017

Chris Haire, Immigration Lawyers Ask Santa Ana City Council to Fund Deportation Defense, Orange County Register, June 29, 2017

High Court to Weigh Murky Crime-of-Violence Definition, Law360, January 13, 2017

Yvette Cabrera, Immigration Advocates Fighting to Keep State Gang Database Away from Trump, Voice of OC, December 4, 2016

Executive Defiance and the Deportation State

Syracuse Law School, Faculty Scholarship series, October 2021 (expected
Tulane Law School, Center on Law and Economy and Murphy Institute colloquium, Feb. 2, 2021
Yale Law Journal Scholarship Workshop, Oct. 21, 2020 (virtual)
University of Washington School of Law Faculty Colloquium, Oct. 2, 2020 (virtual)
Clinical Law Review Writers’ Workshop, Oct. 3, 2020 

Panelist, After Trump:  New Horizons for Immigration Law, UC Irvine School of Law, June 8, 2021 (virtual)

Moderator, Retaliatory Surveillance:  Can the Constitution Protect Us?, Villanova Law School, June 2, 2021 (virtual)

Panelist, Rulemaking 101, American Bar Association Administrative Law Section Annual Conference, May 7, 2021 (virtual)

Moderator, Teaching Immigration Law: Law School Clinics in the US and UK, Border Criminologies, March 18, 2021 (virtual)

Panelist, Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, University of Texas School of Law Federalist Society, Sept. 14, 2020 (virtual) 

Panelist, Litigating in the New Age of Agency Deference, American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, July 22, 2020 (virtual)

Panelist, Evaluating the Criminal Justice and Immigration Platforms of the Democratic Presidential Candidates, University of Nevada-Las Vegas Boyd School of Law, Law Vegas, NV, February 18, 2020

Barricading the Immigration Courts, University of Nevada-Las Vegas Boyd School of Law Faculty Enrichment Series, Nevada, Las Vegas, February 18, 2020 

Panelist, The New World in Context:  Immigration Adjudication, Duke Law Journal Administrative Law Symposium, Durham, NC, February 14, 2020 


  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Immigration Law