Shefali Milczarek-Desai

Assistant Clinical Professor; Workers' Rights Clinic

Shefali Milczarek-Desai directs the Workers' Rights Clinic and teaches in the Immigration Law and Policy program. She brings her hybrid experiences as a litigator, employment and education attorney, pro bono asylum lawyer, and author to bear on mentoring and supervising the next generation of access to justice lawyers—a task she is deeply passionate about. Her current scholarship focuses on sanctuary city litigation, constitutional cities, and universal representation for all men, women, and children facing detention and deportation. Prior to teaching, Shefali assisted in the litigation of Flores v. Arizona, a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the rights of English Language Learners in Arizona public schools, practiced at the DeConcini McDonald law firm where she was elected shareholder, and clerked for Vice-Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor at the Arizona Supreme Court. Shefali is a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist, a Notre Dame Law School Feminist Jurisprudence award winner, and has authored numerous, widely-published articles and essays as well as a book-length manuscript selected as a finalist in an international competition. Her favorite pastimes include hiking in mountains, preparing Indian food, and reading to her sons.

SSRN Published Papers

Representative Publications

  • Soledad:  A Documentary Film (2019) (written and co-produced) (directed by Lisa Molomot) (more info available at
  • Constitutional Cities:  Sanctuary Jurisdictions, Local Voice, and Individual Liberty, 50 Colum. Hum. Rts. Rev. 1 (2018) (co-author, with Toni Massaro).
  • Constitutional Cities, Ms. Magazine Blog, (Aug. 25, 2017),
  • (Re)Locating Other/Third World Women:  An Alternative Approach to Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez's Construction of Gender, Culture and Identity, 13 UCLA Women's L.J. 235 (2004).
  • Hearing Afghan Women's Voices:  Feminist Theory’s Re-Conceptualization of Women's Human Rights, 16 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 805 (1999).
  • Complete List of Publications


  • J.D. James E. Rogers College of Law
  • M.A University of Arizona Women's Studies
    Created and was first graduate of JD/MA Women’s Studies joint-degree program
  • B.A. Whittier College
     Graduated summa cum laude

Work Experience

  • Director, Immigrant Justice Clinic & Worker's Rights Clinic
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2019 - present
  • Director, Worker’s Rights Clinic
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2018 - present
  • Attorney, Speaker, Author
    Employment Law, Immigration and Asylum Law, Tucson, Arizona
    2010 - present
  • Attorney
    Arizona Risk Retention Trust, Tucson, Arizona
    2008 - 2009
  • Attorney
    DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy PC, Tucson, Arizona
    2002 - 2008
  • Law Clerk
    Hon. Ruth V. McGregor, Arizona Supreme Court, Phoenix, Arizona
    2001 - 2002