Abel Rodríguez

Assistant Professor of Law
J.D. University of Pennsylvania Law SchoolM.T.S. Harvard UniversityM.A. Stanford UniversityB.A. Cabrini College

Abel Rodríguez is Assistant Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law, where he teaches Criminal Law, Immigration Law, and Crimmigration. His research focuses on race, migration, and the intersection of criminal and immigration law. His scholarship has appeared in Cornell Law Review and the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. He is also co-editor of a book on the sanctuary movement.

Prior to joining St. John’s, Professor Rodríguez taught at Villanova Law School as director of its asylum clinic. He visited Villanova while on leave from Cabrini University, where he was the inaugural director of the Center on Immigration and taught courses on immigration and social justice, race and ethics, and religion and law. While holding these positions, he also taught a Crimmigration seminar at Penn Law.

Before entering academia, Professor Rodríguez was the immigration specialist at the Defender Association and a staff attorney at Nationalities Service center in Philadelphia, where he specialized in deportation defense for the formerly convicted. He began his legal career as a Langer, Grogan, and Diver Social Justice Fellow at Esperanza Immigration Legal Services in North Philadelphia.    

Professor Rodríguez holds a J.D. from Penn Law, where he was a Toll Public Interest Scholar. Always drawn to interdisciplinary approaches, he also holds a M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.

The son of immigrants, Professor Rodríguez is from a working-class community near Philadelphia. He is a first-generation high school, college, and law school graduate, and he is a firm believer in the power of education to transform people’s lives. He is proud to be living and working in the world’s borough.