Denise L Gilman

Denise L Gilman

  • Director - Immigration Clinic
  • Clinical Professor

Faculty Profile: Denise L Gilman

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Denise Gilman teaches and directs the Immigration Clinic after having joined the clinical faculty at the University of Texas Law School in the fall of 2007. Professor Gilman received her undergraduate degree with honors in political science from Northwestern University. She received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law where she served on the Law Review. Professor Gilman also has an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Gilman clerked for Judge Thomas M. Reavley, at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She is fluent in Spanish.

Professor Gilman has written and practiced extensively in the international human rights and immigrants' rights fields. From 2000 to 2005, Professor Gilman was Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. At the Lawyers' Committee, Professor Gilman coordinated the representation of political asylum applicants by pro bono attorneys and engaged in advocacy on issues of significance to the newcomer community. She also investigated and litigated individual and impact cases involving law enforcement abuses against immigrants and discrimination against newcomers in housing and employment. From 1995-2000, Professor Gilman served as Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights at the Organization of American States and then Director of the Mexico Project at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First). Professor Gilman made her transition from legal practice to clinical teaching through completion of a two-year clinical teaching fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center from 2005-2007.

Professor Gilman was appointed by the President of the American Bar Association to serve as a member of the ABA Commission on Immigration for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 terms. In 2003, Professor Gilman received an "Excellence in Lawyering" award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In 2005, she received the Community Outreach Recognition and Opportunity ("CORO") Award from the D.C. Court of Appeals. Professor Gilman served on the board of the Central American Resource Center in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Professor Gilman's recent scholarship includes: Realizing Liberty: The Use Of International Human Rights Law To Realign Immigration Detention In The United States, 36 Fordham Int'l L.J. 243 (2013); A "Bilingual" Approach to Language Rights, 24 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 1 (2011); Seeking Breaches in the Wall: An International Human Rights Law Challenge to the Texas-Mexico Border Wall, 46 Tex. Int'l L.J. 257 (2011); Calling the United States' Bluff: How Sovereign Immunity Undermines the United States' Claim to an Effective Domestic Human Rights System, 95 Geo. L.J. 591 (2007).

Courses for Spring 2019

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Professional Activities


November 2017

Symposium: Current Issues in Immigration Policy

Levin Center at Wayne Law

Immigration Detention



June 2017

Law and Society 2017 International Meeting

Mexico City

Immigration Detention, Inc.


April 2017

Immigration Detention in the Age of Migration and Control

USC Gould School of Law

Detention and Inequality


April 2017

American Immigration Law: The New Colossus

Texas A&M Law Review Symposium

What Do New Policies Mean for Immigrants and Refugees


January 2017

AALS Annual Meeting Discussion Group

San Francisco, CA

The Central American Refugee Crisis: A Discussion of the Current Response and Evaluation of U.S. Legal Obligations under Domestic and International Law



July 7, 2016

Rethinking the Global Refugee Protection System

SUNY Global Center, New York

Talk - Refugee and Unaccompanied Children: Family Detention


September 17, 2015

UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, Central American Refugees in Detention: Rethinking U.S. Immigration


Opening Keynote – UnFAMILIAr Policies? The Detention of Central American Refugee Families

July 31, 2015

Panel - Women and Children First: Is Family Detention Really Justified and Necessary?

American Bar Association Annual Meeting

June 12, 2015

Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers’ Network Annual Human Rights in the U.S. Symposium/CLE: Engaging with the Inter-American Human Rights System for U.S. Advocacy

New York, NY

Speaker - Strategies for Effective Engagement