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Anita MaddaliAnita Maddali
Director of Clinics & Associate Professor of Law

B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law

Phone:  (815) 753-0207
Room:  197A


Anita Maddali is an associate professor of Law and the director of Clinics at Northern Illinois University College of Law. Professor Maddali’s primary research and teaching interests are in immigration law, specifically the intersection of immigration and family law, and clinical legal education. Since arriving at the College of Law, Professor Maddali has expanded experiential learning opportunities for students, worked to integrate hands-on learning into the law school curriculum, and increased engagement with surrounding communities through the development of partnerships.

Professor Maddali writes and speaks about the unique issues faced by immigrant parents and children when immigration and family law intersect. She also regularly speaks about the importance of experiential learning and ways to create programs that have a lasting impact on law students and the community.

In 2010 Professor Maddali was the recipient of the Northwestern University School of Law’s “Young Alumni Award,” given annually by the Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship (“SFPIF”) group to alumni for their commitment to public interest law. In 2014 she was honored by Northern Illinois University College of Law for the creation of a legal clinic focused on merging the medical and legal needs of homeless and low income residents of Aurora.

Following law school, Professor Maddali was an Equal Justice Works fellow and later clinical professor at Northwestern University School of Law's Children and Family Justice Center. She represented women and unaccompanied minors fleeing persecution from Latin American, African and Middle Eastern countries. She also developed a clinical course focused on the representation of undocumented minors with delinquency issues. Additionally, Professor Maddali litigated education, employment, and immigration cases in federal and state court for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and developed a poverty law clinic while working as a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor at DePaul University College of Law.

Professor Maddali is on the Board of Directors for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School. Previously, she served on the Young Professionals Board of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic, as well as the fundraising committee for Equip for Equality.

Professor Maddali is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law. She earned her B.A. with distinction from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Faculty News for Professor Maddali

Recent Activities

  • Presenter, Family Reunification Under the Immigration System and the Inability of Families to Reunify Lawfully, Kane County Bar Association, May 4, 2016.
  • Spoke at the Mid-Atlantic People of Color Conference at the West Virginia University College of Law about the treatment of immigrant families of color, January 2015.
  • Provided testimony at the Illinois State Bar Association Task Force Hearings on Law School Curriculum in Rockford and Wheaton, Fall 2014.
  • Presenter, Community Lawyering: Looking Beyond your Backyard to Make a Difference, Michigan State University College of Law, September 13, 2014 (with Colleen Boraca, Alan Boudreau, Paul Cain, and Wendy Vaughn).
  • Co-drafted amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of immigration and family law professors in a case involving the termination of parental rights of an undocumented immigrant mother, Spring 2014.
  • Panelist, "Conflict through Care: Clashes between Global Youth, Families and the Law," American Ethnological Society & Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Spring Meeting, Chicago, Illinois,  April 13, 2013
  • Panelist, National Latina/o Law Student Association, "Advocacy: Immigration Law and the Constitutional Rights of Immigrants after Padilla and Arizona," 16th Annual National Latina/o Law Student Association Conference, UCLA School of Law, October 6, 2012.  
  • Panelist, National Latina/o Law Student Association, "2012 Central Region Encuentro Focus on Immigration," Chicago-Kent College of Law, March 3, 2012.
  • Cited, "Padilla v. Kentucky: A New Chapter in Supreme Court Jurisprudence on Whether Deportation Constitutes Punishment for Lawful Permanent Residents?", State v. Frensel Gaitan & State v. Rohan Goulbourne, New Jersey Supreme Court, Argued November 9, 2011 -- Decided February 28, 2012.
  • Panelist, Society of American Law Teachers, The John Marshall Law School and Northern Illinois University College of Law's "Breaking In: How to Become a Law Professor or Law School Administrator" Program, September 16, 2011.


  • Left Behind: The Dying Principle of Family Reunification Under Immigration Law, 50 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 1 (Fall 2016).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • The Immigrant “Other”: Racialized Identity and the Devaluation of Immigrant Family Relations, 89 Ind. L.J. 2 (Spring 2014), cited in U.S. v. Aguilar, 133 F.Supp.3d 486 (E.D. New York 2015).
    | SSRN | PDF |
  • Padilla v. Kentucky: A New Chapter in Supreme Court Jurisprudence on Whether Deportation Constitutes Punishment for Lawful Permanent Residents?, 61 Am. U. L. Rev. 1 (2011), cited in State v. Frensel Gaitan, 209 N.J.339 (New Jersey 2012).
    | SSRN |

Other Legal Writing

Areas of Expertise

Immigration Law, Clinical Legal Education, and Child Advocacy


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