With Immigrant Advocacy, Prof. Kim's Scholarship Speaks Volumes
Professor Kathleen Kim realized her passion for immigrant advocacy as the child of first-generation immigrants from South Korea. She desired to put this passion into action while working with migrant workers as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan.
“They would come there every season from Mexico,” Kim said, noting that she saw “what appeared to be pretty horrendous working conditions.”
Without any formal legal training, Kim let her conscience guide her all the way to Stanford. “I made a decision to go to law school,” she said, “specifically for the purpose of engaging in public interest work and representing immigrant workers’ rights.”
While Kim credits the hands-on advocacy work she did throughout law school and at civil rights organizations for sustaining her enthusiasm, she later realized she could have a broader impact in academia.
“I thought that through legal scholarship that had real-world impact I could enact more social change,” Kim said. “During my civil rights practice, I experienced limitations that I thought I could more effectively address through legal scholarship.”
It turns out she was right. “One of my articles that analyzes the role of the trafficked plaintiff in enforcing civil rights violations was cited by a federal court that broadly interpreted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act,” Kim said. “Some of the propositions I made in my scholarship have actually now become law.”
Kim also co-authored AB 22, California’s first anti-human trafficking law.
On campus, Kim has been a visionary leader in creating core immigrants’ rights training programs. She launched the Immigrant Justice Practicum and serves as the advisor to the Immigrant Advocacy Concentration. She also supervises the recent alumnae running Home Base, Loyola’s first community-based immigration clinic.
- Kathleen Kim & Stephanie Limoncelli editors, Encyclopedia of Migration, Human Trafficking Chapter (Springer, forthcoming 2013)
- Bridgette Carr, Kathleen Kim, Anne Milgram & Stephen Warnath, Human Trafficking Law & Policy (Lexis Nexis, forthcoming 2014)
- The Coercion of Trafficked Workers, 96 Iowa Law Review 409 (2011) (lead article)
- The Trafficked Worker as Private Attorney General: A Model for Enforcing the Civil Rights of Undocumented Workers, 2009 University of Chicago Legal Forum 247 (2009)
- Reconceptualizing Approaches to Human Trafficking: New Directions and Perspectives from the Field(s), 3 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 317 (2007) (co-author)
- Psychological Coercion in the Context of Modern-Day Involuntary Labor: Revisiting U.S. v. Kozminski and Understanding Human Trafficking, 38 University of Toledo Law Review 941 (2007)
- Human Trafficking Private Right of Action: Civil Rights for Trafficked Persons in the United States, 16 Hastings Women’s Law Journal 1 (2004) (co-author)
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Professor Kathleen Kim discusses her advocacy efforts on behalf of immigrants.