Lucas Guttentag

Martin R. Flug Lecturer in Law and Senior Research Scholar in Law

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1978

A.B., University of California, Berkeley, 1973

Courses Taught
  • Immigration Law, Policy, and Constitutional Rights
  • Constitutional Impact and Law Reform Litigation
  • Advanced Immigration and Migration Topics
Lucas Guttentag

Martin R. Flug Lecturer in Law and Senior Research Scholar in Law Lucas Guttentag is currently on leave to serve in the Department of Justice as Senior Counselor to the Deputy Attorney General. With a career that spans advocacy, academia, and government, he is one of the nation’s leading experts on immigration law and policy. Guttentag founded the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) and directed it for 25 years from 1985-2010, litigating complex class action and appellate cases on behalf of refugees and noncitizens throughout the country. He served in the Obama administration as a senior counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and to the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. His writings focus on the intersection of immigration, civil rights, and administrative reform, and Guttentag regularly advises advocates, NGOs, and philanthropies on immigration policy and litigation strategy. In 2017, he created the Immigration Policy Tracking Project with Yale and Stanford law students, a dynamic website profiled in the New Yorker and New York Times, that has compiled every Trump administration immigration policy and is tracking its current status.

Guttentag has successfully argued major cases in the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and many trial and appellate courts throughout the country. He has testified before Congress, often appeared in the national media, and written for scholarly and general audience publications. Guttentag is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and recipient of an honorary degree from CUNY Law School. He was named a Human Rights Hero by the ABA Human Rights Journal, appellate lawyer of the year by California Lawyer magazine, one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon, litigator of the year by the American Immigration Lawyers Association four times and honored by many national and community-based organizations. Earlier in his career, Guttentag practiced civil rights law in Los Angeles, taught at Columbia Law School, and served as law clerk to federal district judge William Wayne Justice in Texas. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School.

Guttentag is Professor of the Practice of Law at Stanford Law School, where he teaches in the spring.

Immigration Policy Tracking Project. An interactive online compilation of every Trump administration immigration policy and current status (2017-2021) Profiled in The New York Times and The New Yorker.

The President and Immigration Law: The Danger and Promise of Presidential Power (October 2020) (book review),

Coronavirus Border Expulsions: CDC’s Assault on Asylum Seekers and Unaccompanied Minors (April 2020), (expanded and updated in 25 Benders Immigration Bulletin 815 (June 2020)

"Trump Is Using the Pandemic to Flout Immigration Laws", New York Times (May 2020) (with Stefano Bertozzi)

"Reflections on Bureaucratic Barriers to Immigration Reform", The Regulatory Review (December 2019),

"In Alabama, Challenging Hidden Racial Discrimination", New York Times (August 2018),

"The Forgotten Equality Norm in Immigration Preemption: DisWEdnesdazy crimination, Harassment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1870", 8 Duke J. Con. Law & Pub. Pol’y 1 (2013)