Professor Anna Welch to join Maine Law as Libra Visiting Professor

The University of Maine School of Law is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Welch as Libra Visiting Professor. Her appointment, beginning in July 2012, is a pivotal step in launching Maine Law’s new Refugee and Human Rights Clinic. Professor Welch will serve as a clinical professor and supervising attorney, as a classroom teacher, as an advisor to students interested in immigration law and human rights, and as a faculty colleague. From time to time, she will present public lectures or scholarly workshops.

The Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, an expansion of Maine Law’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, addresses a critical gap in access to justice in Maine – providing direct legal representation to immigrants and refugees who are seeking political asylum and similar protections under federal law. It meets a compelling legal need in southern Maine’s growing multicultural population and provides law students with valuable skills and experiential learning opportunities.

Professor Welch is currently the Cooley Godward Kronish Fellow at Stanford Law School, where she teaches in the area of immigration law and supervises law students in clinical representation of immigrant clients and in broader advocacy on behalf of immigrants' rights organizations. Prior to Stanford, she was Chair of the Immigration Department at the Portland law firm Verrill Dana, where she practiced for four years. During that time, she taught immigration law at Maine Law and assisted in supervision of students at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. Professor Welch spent time last year in Nairobi, Kenya, as a human rights attorney at Refugepoint (formerly Mapendo International), where she handled over 100 refugee cases. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the Washington College of Law at American University and served for a year afterward as a Fulbright Scholar in Peru.