Michael Kagan

Author: Michael Kagan

After beginning his career as a Michigan Fellow in Refugee Law, Michael Kagan spent ten years building legal aid programs for refugees throughout the Middle East and Asia and has written several of the most widely cited articles in the fields of refugee and asylum law. As a human rights lawyer, Prof. Kagan helped establish pioneering legal aid centers and clinics for refugees in Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, and co-founded Asylum Access, which operates refugee rights programs on three continents. Growing from his frontline work with refugees in the Middle East, Prof. Kagan led a campaign to improve the fairness of refugee status determination (RSD) procedures by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). His role in expanding refugee legal aid in the global south was profiled in Zachary Kaufman’s Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012). Prof. Kagan’s 2006 study of UNHCR RSD is the most frequently cited article in the history of the International Journal of Refugee Law. Prof. Kagan’s research on credibility assessment in asylum cases has been repeatedly relied on by federal appellate courts and, according to a 2012 commentary, has “guided most subsequent research and analysis on the topic.” Prof. Kagan is co-director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Boyd School of Law, where he has co-authored groundbreaking empirical studies of how American appellate courts adjudicate asylum and other immigration cases.

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