Lynn Marcus

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Immigration Law Clinic & Community Immigration Law Placement Clinic

Lynn Marcus founded the Immigration Law Clinic (ILC) at the College of Law in 1996 and has worked alongside and supervised students handling immigration cases in the program ever since. The Clinic initially represented detainees in bond and removal proceedings, later switching to applications for asylum and for visas for certain victims of crimes or human trafficking,  In 2020, Professor Marcus launched the Community Immigration Law Placement Clinic (CILPC), in which students work primarily in externships at a range of immigration law offices while also engaging in an in-house project to help screen asylum cases and develop basic interviewing skills.  Beginning in 2024, she plans to run the ILC in the Spring and the CILPC in the Fall.

Professor Marcus has a passion for asylum law and refugee protection. She taught a seminar on refugee law and policy at Arizona Law for approximately 20 years and is currently working on a documentary and materials for an educational website with a primary focus on refugee law.  Representing clients before Asylum Officers, in Immigration Court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals, and at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, she and her students have succeeded in winning protection for the vast majority of asylum seekers they have represented over the years.

Professor Marcus co-directs the Bacon Law and Policy Program and the Immigration Law Certificate program and serves as a faculty advisor for the Immigration Law Students Association at the law school.

Early in her career, Professor Marcus founded and ran the Southwest Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, focused on promoting and protecting the rights of people in immigration custody. Her work included monitoring detention conditions in the Southwest to help enforce nationwide settlement agreements and creating self-help manuals that were used by detainees throughout the United States.

Outside of her role at the law school, Professor Marcus volunteers as president of a small, all-volunteer non-profit organization that seeks to provide a safety net for low income asylum seekers in Arizona by screening cases and helping arrange for funding and representation by asylum law practitioners.

Immigration Law Clinic website:

Law Clinic Administration: (520) 626-5232


  • J.D. New York University School of Law
    Moot Court Board, 1987 - 1988; Recipient of Public Interest Summer Internship Grants, 1987 & 1988
  • B.A. Stanford University


Curriculum Vitae

Representative Publications

  • Safe? ( (2023) (21 minutes): A documentary about the struggles of a Guatemalan couple as they seek to keep their family together in the U.S. despite heightened restrictions on the government’s use of discretion to grant permanent status to people with criminal records, such as the husband.
  • The Student Learning Plan (2023) (6 minutes). A guide on why and how to select goals, action steps, and assessment criteria for one’s externship.
  • Trauma Informed Interviewing for Law Students and Lawyers (2021) (35 minutes) This interview of mental health counselor Maggie Morton, published on the website of LegalED, provides guidance for law students and lawyers on how to interview trauma survivors.
  • Professional Boundaries (2021) (5.5 minutes) This video covers issues law students and lawyers commonly face in establishing professional boundaries for their relationships with clients.
  • Working With Interpreters: Tips From the Trenches (2020) (8 minutes) Two students with interpreting experience provide tips on how best to collaborate with interpreters in conducting client interviews.
  • Client Interviewing Series: Developing Rapport with Your Client, Part One: Developing Rapport with Your Client, Part Two: Starting, Ending, and What to do After Your Interview, (2017 – 2018). This 3-part, 16-minute series covers the basics of client interviewing.
  • Moving Forward, Looking Back: The Sanctuary Movement and the Asylum Program of Southern Arizona (Desert Penguin Media) (2002). A briefly history of U.S. asylum law and the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s and 1990s, connecting it with the modern-day struggles of asylum seekers in Southern Arizona.
  • Seeking Justice: A Family’s Plea (2001) (with Erin Simpson)(15.5 minutes). Professor Marcus co-produced this video with then-law student Erin Simpson in a successful bid to convince the district director of the Immigrant & Naturalization Service not to deport a Mexican husband and father of U.S. citizens despite a conviction for a drug-related crime.

In 2020, Professor Marcus produced a 52-minute, 8-part video crash course on asylum (and Torture Convention) law and procedure for use by students in the CILPC and in her refugee law seminar.

From 1993 to 1999, Professor Marcus wrote, translated to Spanish, and updated a series of self-help manuals published by the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, with funding from the Marshall Fund and the Ford Foundation. The materials – which were used at detention centers throughout the country – explained the law and procedures for applying for asylum, bond, parole, withholding of removal, legal status through family members, suspension of deportation, voluntary departure, and humanitarian waivers of deportation for legal permanent residents.

Published Decisions:

  • Sinotes-Cruz v. Gonzales, 468 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2006), co-counsel for petitioner (rule disqualifying certain legal permanent residents from eligibility for waivers does not apply retroactively to pre-1996 criminal convictions);
  • Fernandez-Ruiz v. Gonzales, 466 F. 3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc), co-counsel for amici curiae (the term crime of violence, used, inter alia, as a basis for removal of non-citizens, does not encompass accidental incidents, such as offenses which may be committed recklessly rather than with an intent to injure); brief published at;
  • Ye v. INS, 214 F. 3d 1128 (9th Cir. 2000), counsel for petitioner (unlawful entry into a locked vehicle is neither burglary nor a crime of violence so as to render noncitizen subject to removal as an aggravated felon).

Representative Presentations and Media Appearances

Professor Marcus is a frequent lecturer and commentator on immigration issues. Recent representative presentations and media appearances include the following:

Admitted to Practice

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court of Arizona
  • Arizona Supreme Court

Work Experience

  • Director, Community Immigration Law Placement Clinic
    James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Director, Immigration Law Clinic
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    1997-2007, 2018 - 2020 - resuming August 2024
    (Co-director, 2008-2018)
  • Clinic Director; Assistant Adjunct Professor of Law
    Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Inc., Florence and Tucson, Arizona
    1995 - 1996
  • Intake Attorney (part time)
    Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc., Tucson, Arizona
  • Attorney, Project Coordinator
    Tucson Ecumenical Council Legal Assistance, Tucson, Arizona
    1990 - 1994
  • Attorney; Legal Assistant
    Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc. Immigration Project, Tucson, Arizona
    1989 - 1990

Public & Institutional Service

  • Co-Director, Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program and Immigration Law Certificate Program, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Faculty Advisor, Immigration Law Students Association
  • Founding member, president, Asylum Program of Arizona (formerly the Asylum Services Committee of Catholic Community Services
  • Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association


  • Catalina High School Hall of Fame
  • YWCA of Tucson's Women on the Move Recipient
  • First Place, Creative Writing Contest (Song/Poetry), Clinical Education Association
  • University of Arizona Minority Law Students' Association Community Service Award
  • New York University Public Service Fellowship
Immigration Law
Legal Education