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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’s 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 Immigration Law, Criminal Law and Evidence at Pepperdine.  She has also taught doctrinal courses in 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 clinical teaching fellow and lecturer at Stanford Law School.   

Professor Koh serves as the Co-Director of the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics at Caruso School of Law.  She has written about the intersection of immigration and Christianity, 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 is a founding Board member of the nonprofit organization the Orange County Justice Fund, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Public Law Center. Professor Koh 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.  She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  

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)



  • Jennifer Lee Koh,  The Rise of the "Immigrant-as-Injury" Theory of State Standing, 72 AM. U. L. REV. 885 (2023) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Executive Discretion and First Amendment Constraints on the Deportation State, 56 GA. L. REV. 1473 (2022) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Race, Immigration Law, and Christianity: Reflections and Tensions Raised by United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 23 POL. THEOLOGY 471 (2022) SSRN
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Executive Defiance and the Deportation State, 130 YALE L. J. 948 (2021) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Downsizing the Deportation State, 16 HARV. L. & POL'Y REV 85 (2021) SSRN 
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Barricading the Immigration Courts, 69 DUKE L. J. ONLINE 48 (2020) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Crimmigration Beyond the Headlines: The Board of Immigration Appeals' Quiet Expansion of the Meaning of Moral Turpitude, 71 STAN. L. REV. ONLINE 267 (2019) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Reflections on Elitism After the Closing of a Clinic: Pedagogy, Justice and Scholarship, 26 CLINICAL L. REV. 263 (2019) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Looking Ahead at Vagueness Claims Post-Dimaya, 48 SW. L. J. 525 (2019) (symposium remarks) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, When Shadow Removals Collide: Searching for Solutions to the Legal Black Holes Created by Expedited Removal and Reinstatement, 96 WASH. U. L. REV. 337 (2018) SSRN HeinOnline 
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court, 90 S. CAL. L. REV. 181 (2017) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Anticipating Expansion, Committing to Resistance: Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court Under Trump, 43 OHIO N. L. REV. 459 (2017) (symposium essay) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, 2016 WIS. L. REV. 1127 (2016) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh & Anna Welch, Integrating Skills and Collaborating Across Law Schools: An Example from Immigration Law, 16 NEV. L. J. 147 (2015) SSRN HeinOnline 
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Rethinking Removability, 65 FLA. L. REV. 1803 (2013) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Waiving Due Process (Goodbye): Stipulated Orders of Removal and the Crisis in Immigration Adjudication, 91 N. C. L. REV. 475 (2013) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, The Whole Better than the Sum: A Case for the Categorical Approach to Determining the Immigration Consequences of Crime, 26 GEO. IMMIGR. L. J. 257 (2012) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Teaching Individual Representation Alongside Institutional Advocacy Projects: Pedagogical Implications of a Combined Advocacy Clinic, 16 CLINICAL L. REV. 451 (2010) (with Jayashri Srikantiah) SSRN HeinOnline


Book Chapters

  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Department of Homeland Security v. Board of Regents, Rewritten, in FEMINIST JUDGMENTS: IMMIGRATION LAW OPINIONS REWRITTEN (Kathleen Kim, Kevin Lapp, and Jennifer J. Lee, eds., Cambridge University Press) (2023) SSRN Worldcat
  • Jennifer Lee Koh, Agape, Grace, and Immigration Law: An Evangelical Perspective, in AGAPE, JUSTICE AND LAW: HOW MIGHT CHRISTIAN LOVE SHAPE LAW? (Robert Cochran and Zachary Calo, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017) SSRN WorldCat

Popular Press

  • Maurizio Guerrero, Little has Changed for Immigrants and Advocates Protesting Abusive Detention and Immigration Policies, Prism Reports, Dec. 8, 2021
  • Claudia Shambaugh, The Haitian Squeeze Play, KUCI Radio, Oct. 4, 2021 
  • 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


  • Panelist, Christian Lawyers and the Pursuit of Justice, International Legal Ethics Conference, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA, August 13, 2022
  • Work-in-Progress Presenter and Discussant, State Standing to Challenge Federal Immigration Policy, Immigration Law Teachers Conference, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA, June 8, 2022
  • Panelist, Career Paths In and Out of Clinical Teaching, Immigration Law Teachers Conference, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA, June 7, 2022
  • Moderator, Confession and Repentance: Understanding Calls for Racial Justice and Beloved Community in the American Church and Academy, Christian Scholars Conference, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, June 9, 2011
  • Panelist, The First Amendment and Immigration, Georgia Law Review symposium, Mar. 18, 2022
  • Executive Defiance and the Deportation State  
    • Syracuse Law School, Faculty Scholarship series, October 2021 
    • 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 

Areas of Expertise

  • Immigration Law
  • Immigration Consequences of Crime
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Christianity and Social Justice


  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Immigration Law