Jaclyn Kelley-WidmerAssistant Clinical Professor of Law (Lawyering)
Professional BiographyJaclyn Kelley-Widmer teaches first-year Lawyering and founded and directs Cornell's first 1L clinic, the Immigration Law & Advocacy Clinic. She joined Cornell Law School in 2017.
Professor Kelley-Widmer’s practice experience includes representing immigrant clients in applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), naturalization, political asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and visas for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. At Cornell, she leads students in providing legal services to immigrants in the Cornell community and has led a service trip volunteering at an immigration detention center in Texas. Before coming to Cornell, she was an Equal Justice Works fellow at La Raza Centro Legal in San Francisco, where she focused on representing immigrant youth and their families in their applications for immigration relief. She is fluent in Spanish and has served as a legal interpreter.
Previously, Professor Kelley-Widmer taught legal writing as an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law from 2016 to 2017. She also clerked at the San Francisco Immigration Court through the Department of Justice Honors Program. At the University of Michigan Law School, she was Notes Editor for the Michigan Journal of Race and Law and served as a student attorney in the Human Trafficking Clinic.
Professor Kelley-Widmer’s scholarship includes "Gang-Related Asylum Claims: Looking Back and Looking Forward" in the Immigration Law Advisor and "To Plea or Not to Plea: Retroactive Availability of Padilla v. Kentucky to Noncitizen Defendants on State Postconviction Review" in the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. She has also published shorter pieces on emerging immigration issues, and her work has been featured on local NPR, in the Cornell Daily Sun, and in other media.
Professor Kelley-Widmer is a member of the California Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association. She is an advisory board member for the local non-profit Ithaca Welcomes Refugees.