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Yolanda Vázquez


Yolanda Vázquez

Associate Professor of Law


BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison
JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Areas of Interest

  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Immigration Law

Professor Vázquez joined the College of Law in 2012. She teaches in the areas of immigration, crimmigration, and criminal procedure. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Vázquez taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Villanova Law School, and the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Professor Vázquez’ research examines the incorporation of immigration law into the criminal justice system. Her scholarship has focused on the role of criminal courts and the duties of defense lawyers in advising noncitizen defendants on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. She has argued that criminal defense attorneys need to advise their noncitizen clients on this issue, an argument which the United States Supreme Court agreed with in Padilla v. Kentucky, a case in which she assisted. She also writes about the impact that the increased use of the criminal justice system in immigration law and its enforcement has on Latinos. Her scholarship has been published in such journals as the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, Howard Law Journal, and the Fordham Urban Law Journal.

Professor Vázquez has presented papers at national and international conferences, including the American Constitution Society’s Annual Convention, the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Meeting. She serves on the Academic Advisory Board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Scholarship into Courts Project and as a member of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools’ Scholarly Research Committee.

Prior to joining the academic world, Professor Vázquez was a public defender in the Cook County Public Defender’s Office in Chicago as well as the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also conducted federal litigation on behalf of migrant farmworkers in the areas of labor and immigration. In 2011, she was awarded the Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation in the Field of Immigration Law.