Lori Nessel   

Professor Lori Nessel

Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D., CUNY School of Law | B.A., University of California
  • Contact:

  • [email protected]
  • Tel:  973-642-8700
  • SSRN Site link
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, Immigration and Naturalization Law, International Human Rights, Comparative Issues in Refugee Law, Gender and the Law

Lori A. Nessel's teaching and scholarship focuses largely in the areas of immigration and refugee law and policy, international human rights, rule of law, and access to justice. She is a Professor of Law and is a former Director of Seton Hall University School of Law's Center for Social Justice. Professor Nessel regularly teaches Immigration and Naturalization Law and the Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic. She has also taught International Human Rights Law, Gender and the Law, Selected Topics in Immigration Law and Advanced Comparative Issues in Refugee Law. Professor Nessel came to Seton Hall Law School in 1995 after completing a Skadden Arps Public Interest Law Fellowship representing migrant farmworkers in Upstate New York and working at a small civil rights firm in New York City. In her Immigrants' Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, Professor Nessel supervises live cases and human rights fact-finding and advocacy projects, including claims under the Refugee and Torture Conventions, as well as cases involving human trafficking, family reunification and other forms of relief from deportation. Under her supervision, the Clinic has won groundbreaking decisions, including one of the first rulings to recognize domestic violence as torture under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. She is currently supervising students in a human rights project examining private deportations of immigrants by hospitals in the United States.

In 2006, Professor Nessel was appointed Director of the Center for Social Justice, home of the Law School’s large Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. She has also been actively involved in designing the International Human Rights/Rule of Law Initiative, is the faculty director of the Haiti Rule of Law Project and is in the process of designing a new Guatemala Rule of Law Project. Professor Nessel’s international teaching, training and research experience includes: leading annual faculty/students delegations to Haiti and lecturing at the L’ecole Superieure Catholique de Droit (E.S.C.D.R.O.J.) in Jeremie, Haiti, teaching International Human Rights Law in Seton Hall Law School's summer program in Italy and in the Law School's new Chamonix/Geneva intersession program, providing clinical training in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Valencia and Madrid, Spain, and conducting comparative immigration law research in Spain as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2007-08.

Professor Nessel has written numerous scholarly articles on various aspects of immigration and international human rights norms including: the intersection of immigration and labor laws as it affects undocumented workers, gender and immigration issues, the Torture Convention, family reunification, post-conflict community justice mechanisms and gender-based torture in Rwanda, the plight of migrant farmworkers, and private medical deporations by US hospitals. Her scholarship has been published in top academic journals (including University of Minnesota Law Review and Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review) and republished in annual immigration anthologies. She has also presented at numerous academic, immigration, clinical, community and religious-based conferences both locally and internationally.



Instilling Fear and Regulating Behavior: Immigration Law as Social Control, 31 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 525 (2017)

Deliberate Destitution as Deterrent: Withholding the Right to Work and Undermining Asylum Protection, 52 San Diego Law Review 313 (2015)

Disposable Workers: Applying a Human Rights Framework to Analyze Duties Owed to Seriously Injured or Ill Immigrants, 19 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. 61 (2012)

Externalized Borders and the Invisible Refugee, 40 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 625 (2009)

The Practice of Medical Repatriation: The Privatization of Immigration Enforcement and Denial of Human Rights, 55 Wayne L. Rev. 1725 (2009)

Families at Risk: How Errant Enforcement and Restrictionist Integration Policies Threaten the Immigrant Family in the European Union and the United States, 36 Hofstra L. Rev. 1271 (2008)

Rape and Recovery in Rwanda: The Viability of Local Justice Initiatives and the Availability of Surrogate Protection for Women That Flee, Symposium: Gender, War & Peace: Women’s Status in the Wake of Conflict, 15 Mich. St. J. Int'l L. 101 (2007)

Forced to Choose: Torture, Family Reunification and United States Immigration Policy, 78 Temp. L. Rev. 897 (Winter 2005)

"Willful Blindness" to Gender-Based Violence Abroad: United States Implementation of Article Three of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, 89 Minn. L. Rev. 71 (November 2004)

Undocumented Immigrants in the Workplace: The Fallacy of Labor Protection and the Need for Reform, 36 Harv. C.R.-C.L.L. Rev. 345 (Summer 2001)


Human Dignity or State Sovereignty?: The Roadblocks to Full Realization of the UN International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, in Research Handbook on Migration and International Law, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, Research Handbooks in International Law series (forthcoming 2012) (V. Chetail, Ed. )

Abuse of (Plenary) Power? Judicial Deference and the Post-9/11 War on Immigrants in Awakening from the Dream, Civil Rights under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice, in Carolina Academic Press (2006) (co-authored with Anjum Gupta; Denise C. Morgan, Rachel D. Godsil, and Joy Moses, Eds.)


Migrant Farmworkers, Homeless and Runaway Youth: Challenging the Barriers to Inclusion, 13 Law & Ineq. 99 (1994) (co-author Kevin Ryan)


Lori A. Nessel on the Legality and Ethics of Medical Repatriation, LexisNexis, Emerging Issues 4404 (2009)


Full list of presentations available in Curriculum Vitae

Immigration Forum, New Jersey Reentry Foundation, Union City, New Jersey (July 19, 2018) (Panelist)

Asylum and Refugee Law Update: What the A-B- Decision Means for Domestic Violence Applicants, Njsba/Njicle, Newark, Nj (September 28, 2018) (Panelist)

Children’s Asylum Claims After the Attorney Generals’ Decision in A-B-, Training for Kids in Need of Defense (K.i.n.d.), Roseland, New Jersey (September 20, 2018) (Third Circuit Expert)

International Law and Human Rights Emerging Scholarship Conference, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Nyu Law School (April 20, 2018) (Invited Discussant)

The Intersection of Immigration Law and Health Policy, Indiana Health Law Review Symposium, Indiana University McKinney School of Law (October 26, 2018) (Panelist)