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Photo by Mary Szmolko

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia brings more than 20 years of experience to the field of immigration law and policy. 

Wadhia currently serves as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar at Penn State Law in University Park. Her research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and the intersections of race, national security and immigration. She has published more than thirty law review articles, book chapters and essays on immigration law. Wadhia is the author of two books: Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases, and Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump, both published by New York University Press. She is co-author of the immigration textbook, Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Solutions, published by Carolina Academic Press in 2020.

In 2021, Wadhia was elected to the American Law Institute. In 2018, Wadhia was named the inaugural Editor-In-Chief of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Law Journal, a partnership between AILA and Fastcase. 

At Penn State Law, Professor Wadhia teaches doctrinal courses in immigration and asylum and refugee law. She is also the founder and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, where she supervises students in three areas: 1) community outreach; 2) legal support in individual immigration cases; and 3) policy work for institutional clients. 

Wadhia has appeared on national television and radio stations, including MSNBC and C-SPAN and has been quoted or featured by international, national, and local publications, including New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Hill, National Law Journal, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, The Atlantic and Associated Press, among others.

Penn State Law


  • Immigration Law

  • Prosecutorial Discretion

  • Immigration and National Security


  • Immigration Law

  • Asylum & Refugee Law 

  • Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic

  • Law & (In)equity

Awards and Honors

  • American Law Institute, 2021

  • 2022 Mimi Barash Coppersmith Women in Leadership award

  • 2020 Fastcase 50 Award

  • 2020 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award

  • 2019 Elmer Fried Award for Excellence in Teaching, American Immigration Lawyers Association 

  • 2019 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year, Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic 

  • National Immigration Project 2017 Honoree 

  • Department of Homeland Security's Office for the Inspector General, Leadership Award

  • Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Leadership Award

  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

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