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Isabel Medina

Ferris Family Distinguished Professor of Law


J.D., Tulane University, 1987

M.F.A., University of New Orleans, 1980

B.A., Monash University (Australia), 1977


  • College of Law
  • Law


  • Civil Rights
  • Immigration
  • Law


M. Isabel Medina joined the law school faculty in 1991 after practicing law with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. Upon her graduation from Tulane Law School, she clerked for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She was a managing editor of the Tulane Law Review. She teaches Constitutional Law including First Amendment, Employment and Gender Discrimination Law, and Immigration Law. She has visited at the University of Athens (Fulbright Scholar 2003), Tulane Law School, Villanova University School of Law and Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

She served as co-chair of the Constitutional Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools in 2014 and is a past chair of the Immigration Law Section. She has organized a number of conferences on gender based violence, constitutional and immigration issues. She has served as Chair of the Loyola University Senate. In 2011 she received the Loyola Senate Award for Excellence in Advising for her work as Faculty Advisor of the Journal of Public Interest Law and the Lambda Law Alliance. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

She writes in the area of gender, immigration and constitutional law and her articles have appeared in the Connecticut Law Review, the George Mason Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Louisiana Law Review and the Harvard Latino Law Journal. Her publications include Migration Law in the United States (Kluwer 2016) and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law:  A History (LSU Press 2016).  She contributed a feminist rewriting of the US Supreme Court case Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales in Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford, and Kathy Stanchi, editors, U.S. Feminist Judgments (Cambridge University Press 2016).

She delivered the Fourth Annual Judge Harry J. Wilters Jr. Lecture on Constitutional Law and Professional Ethics at the University of South Alabama on September 20, 2016, on “In Search of the Nation of Immigrants:  Balancing the Federal-State Divide.”  Currently, she is working on a biography of Loyola New Orleans Law alumni James Skelly Wright.

Classes Taught

  • Constitutional Law
  • Employment and Gender Discrimination Law
  • Immigration Law



In Pursuit of Social Justice: Loyola University New Orleans College of Law 1914-2014, Producer and Writer (2014) available for viewing at

Books, Monographs and Book Chapters

“Town of Castle Rock versus Gonzales,” (book chapter) in Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford, and Kathy Stanchi, editors, US FEMINIST JUDGMENTS (forthcoming Cambridge University Press 2016).


MIGRATION LAW IN THE USA (Wolters Kluwer 2011).


Araiza, Haddon, Roberts, Medina, SUPPLEMENT, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES, HISTORY AND DIALOGUES (Lexis-Nexis 2009, 2010).

United States, In INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF LAWS: MIGRATION LAW, edited by Dirk Vanheule. Alphen aan den Rijn, NL: Kluwer Law International, 2010.


“Symposium on Kerry v. Din: When it comes to immigration neither marriage nor citizenship matter,” available at

“The Missing and Misplaced History in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder – Through the Lens of the Louisiana Experience with Jim Crow and Voting Rights in the 1890s,” 33 Mississippi College Law Review 201 (2014).

“Derivative Citizenship: What’s marriage, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, race, and class got to do with it?” 28 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 391 (2014).

“Symposium: Searching for Equality: Narratives of Diversity from Louisiana,” 14 Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law 459 (2013).

“Symposium: Ethical Issues in Immigration Law, Practice, and Policy: The Challenges of Facilitating Effective Legal Defense in Deportation Proceedings: Allowing Nonlawyer Practice of Law Through Accredited Representatives in Removals,” 53 South Texas Law Review 459 (2012).

Co-authored with Lorio, Kathryn, Moore, Lawrence W., and Lacoste, Natasha, “Making History—Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Welcomes Dean Maria Pabon Lopez,” 58 Loyola Law Review 1 (2012).

“Symposium on Federalism at Work: State Criminal Law, Noncitizens and Immigration Related Activity – An Introduction,” 12 Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law 265-276 (2011).

“The Use of the Word ‘Citizen’ in Writings on the Fourth Amendment,” 36 Search and Seizure Law Report 45 (West June 2009).

“Reforming Criminal Indigent Defense in Louisiana-An Introduction to the Symposium and a Brief Exploration of Criminal Indigent Defense and its Relationship to Immigrant Indigent Defense,” 9 Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law 111 (2008).

“Exploring the Use of the Word ‘Citizen’ in Writings on the Fourth Amendment,” 83 Indiana Law Journal 1557 (2008).

“Ruminations on the Fourth Amendment, Case Law, Commentary and the Word ‘Citizen,’” 11 Harvard Latino Law Review 189 (2008).

“Wal-Mart, Immigrant Workers and the U.S. Government - A Case of Split Personality?” 39 Connecticut Law Review 1443-1460 (May 2007).

"At the Border: What Tres Mujeres Tell Us About Walls and Fences,” 10 The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, A Journal of the University of Iowa College of Law 245-267 (Winter 2007).

"Good Night, and Good Luck and Sanitized Workplaces,” 29 Thomas Jefferson Law Review 65- 76 (Fall 2006).

"Confronting the Rights Deficit at Home: Is the Nation Prepared in the Aftermath of Katrina? Confronting the Myth of Efficiency,” 43 California Western Law Review 9-20 (Fall 2006).

"Immigrants and the Government's War on Terrorism," Special Issue: Whose Homeland?, 6 The New Centennial Review 225-38 (2006).

"Demore v. Kim-A Dance of Power and Human Rights," 18 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 697-744 (2004).

"Real Differences and Stereotypes - Two visions of gender, citizenship and international law," 7 New York City Law Review 315-356 (2004) (Symposium in honor of the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

"Gender in the Constitutions of Hellas and the United States," Efarmoges Dimosiou Dikaiou (Applications of Public Law - Greek review of public law) 17 (2004), p. 371.

"Of Constitutional Amendments, Human Rights and Same-Sex Marriages," 64 Louisiana Law Review 459-75 (2004).

"Justifying Integration of Domestic Violence Throughout the Law School Curriculum: An Introduction to the Symposium on Integrating Responses to Domestic Violence," 47 Loyola Law Review 1-20 (2001).

"From Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to A Well-Founded Fear: The Congressional Battle to Save Political Asylum in America," Book review, 46 Loyola Law Review 64350 (2000).

"A Matter of Fact: Hostile Environments and Summary Judgments," 8 Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies 311-371 (1999).

"Judicial Review - A Nice Thing? Article III, Separation of Powers and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996," 29 Connecticut Law Review 1525-1563 (1997).

"The Criminalization of lmmigration Law - Employer Sanctions and Marriage Fraud," 5 George Mason Law Review 669-731 (1997).

"Employer Sanctions in the United States, Canada and Mexico: Exploring the Criminalization of Immigration Law," 3 Southwestern Journal of Law & Trade in the Americas 333-357 (1996).

"In Search of Quality Childcare: Closing the Immigration Gate to Childcare Workers," 8 Geo. Immig. L.J. 161-199 (1994).

"Constitutional Law and Civil Rights," Fifth Circuit Symposium, 38 Loy.L.Rev. 715-754 (1992).

Comment, "Award of Attorney Fees in Bad Faith Breaches of Contract," 61 Tu1.L.Rev. 1173- 1224 (1987).

Note, "Regional Interstate Banking - States may discriminate against other states outside their geographical regions in authorizing interstate banking acquisitions," 61 Tu1.L.Rev. 196-214 (1986).