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Lucas Guttentag
Professor of the Practice of Law


Lucas Guttentag specializes in immigration law, immigrants’ rights and constitutional litigation. He is the founder and former national director of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, which he led from 1985 to 2011. For nearly 30 years, he litigated complex civil rights, class action and constitutional cases in courts throughout the United States, including successfully arguing in the Supreme Court. Under his direction, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project established offices in New York and San Francisco and became the largest immigration litigation program in the country committed to enforcing the civil and constitutional rights of non-citizens.

Professor Guttentag’s writings focus on the intersection of civil rights and immigration law. He has been widely recognized for his litigation and leadership on immigration issues by national and local organizations, including being named a Human Rights Hero by the ABA Human Rights journal, Lawyer of the Year for Appellate Law by California Lawyer magazine and among California’s top 100 lawyers by the San Francisco/Los Angeles Daily Journal. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and received an honorary degree from CUNY Law School in 2013.

Professor Guttentag joined the Stanford faculty in 2014 as Professor of the Practice. He is currently on leave to serve in the Obama administration as Senior Counselor to the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Before beginning his government service, he taught each fall at Yale Law School, where he was Robina Foundation Distinguished Senior Fellow and Ford Foundation Distinguished Senior Research Scholar. He has also taught immigration law as an adjunct at Columbia Law School and later at the University of California Berkeley (Boalt Hall). He previously practiced civil rights law in Los Angeles at the Center for Law in the Public Interest and served as law clerk to renowned district judge William Wayne Justice in Texas.