Michelle Assad


B.A., New York University
J.D., American University


Professor Michelle Assad is an Assistant Professor of Law, teaching Criminal Law, Criminal-Immigration Law, and Administrative Law in the 2023-2024 academic year. Prior to joining the faculty at WNE Law, Professor Assad taught a seminar on lawyering skills and supervised law students in the Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC) at American University Washington College of Law (AU WCL). She was also the first staff attorney to lead, within IJC, Defending the AU Dream Initiative, which provides free legal immigration services to undocumented and non-US citizen university students in the D.C. Metropolitan area. Professor Assad also taught a course on U.S. Criminal-Immigration Law, which is the subject of her upcoming scholarship.  

Professor Assad has dedicated her legal career to advocating for non-citizens both in the immigration and criminal law practice. Before entering academia, Professor Assad served as a subject matter expert at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender where she managed requests for advice on the intersection of criminal and immigration law (known as “Padilla advice”). She also conducted in-house trainings for public defenders and updated and developed agency-wide practice advisories to ensure defense attorneys had the tools to competently represent foreign-born defendants in criminal proceedings. She developed an expertise in this intersection of the law as a staff attorney at the Brooklyn Defender Services’ Immigration Unit where she also provided Padilla advice to public defenders in New York and represented clients before US government immigration agencies. She earned her JD from AU WCL and BA from New York University.