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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Jill Family elected as chair of AALS Section on Immigration Law

In 2019, Commonwealth Professor of Law and Government Jill Family will serve in leadership positions for two professional legal organizations.

Family, who is the director of the Widener Law Commonwealth Law and Government Institute, will serve as the chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), a national organization that provides professional development opportunities for more than 9,000 law faculty. She will also serve as the chair of the Government Lawyers Committee of the Dauphin County Bar Association (DCBA).

She will hold the positions for one year.

Professor Family has studied extensively the U.S. immigration court system, and the relationships between the branches of government in setting, implementing and interpreting immigration law. She testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about the administrative law implications of President Obama’s immigration proposals. Professor Family has presented her work at many conferences both in the United States and abroad, most recently at a December 2018 conference on comparative perspectives on immigration controls and criminal law at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. At Widener Law Commonwealth, Family teaches courses on civil procedure, administrative law, and immigration law.

Professor Family’s peers in immigration law selected her for the leadership position at the AALS.  As the chair of the Immigration Law Section, she will lead the section as it continues to serve as a resource for immigration law professors across the country.  As a part of her duties, she will develop content for the AALS annual meeting in 2020.

“I’m honored to be selected to fill this national position.  The community of immigration law professors is a dynamic group made up of individuals who go out of their way to support each other,” Family said.  “That positive energy spills over to the section and leads to invaluable opportunities to learn and interact.”

As the chair of the DCBA Government Lawyers Committee, Family will bring together lawyers whose work involves a variety of government regulation. She will lend her extensive legal knowledge to allow the committee to continue to serve as a professional resource for government lawyers.  Dauphin County is the site of Pennsylvania’s state capital.   

"The DCBA Government Lawyers Committee has been a great partner for the Law and Government Institute and has worked in many ways to help our students,” Family said. “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead the committee and expand the institute's cooperation with the committee."

Family continues a tradition of Widener Law Commonwealth leadership in the AALS. Emeritus Professor John Capowski served as chair of the AALS Section on Evidence for 2015-2016, and Professor Christopher Robinette served as chair of the AALS Section on Torts and Compensation Systems for 2017-2018.