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Andrew Knapp

Southwestern University College of Law
Adjunct Professor
Los Angeles, California
Andrew Knapp is an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California and Western State College of Law in Irvine, California, where he teaches both law schools’ Ninth Circuit Appellate Litigation Clinics. In that capacity, he regularly serves, along with his law students, as appointed pro bono counsel for immigration cases assigned through the Ninth Circuit’s law school clinic pro bono program. Andrew and his law students have won most of their pro bono Ninth Circuit appointed immigration cases, including Chavez-Garcia v. Sessions, 871 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2017), Dimaya v. Lynch, 803 F.3d 1110 (9th Cir. 2015), Muniz-Alvarado v. Lynch, 603 Fed.Appx. 637 (9th Cir. 2015), Gomez-Ponce v. Holder, 571 Fed.Appx. 528 (9th Cir. 2014), and Hernandez v. Holder, 738 F.3d 1099 (9th Cir. 2013). The clinic’s big win in Dimaya v. Lynch was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court last term in a 5 to 4 decision, Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018), in which Justice Kagan, writing for the majority, affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s invalidation of a criminal removal provision as unconstitutionally void for vagueness. Andrew also successfully moved the Ninth Circuit in Marinelarena v. Sessions, 886 F.3d 737 (9th Cir. 2018), to reconsider before an 11 judge panel in the fall the only case he and Southwestern’s Appellate Litigation Clinic lost in a published decision: Marinelarena v. Sessions, 869 F.3d 780 (9th Cir. 2017).

Andrew also serves as the Chief Financial Officer and lead volunteer attorney for Immigrant Access to Justice Assistance (“IAJA”), a charitable nonprofit which provides pro bono representation before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to disadvantaged noncitizens who would otherwise go without legal representation. Andrew’s last full-time employment was as a staff attorney for the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, from 2010 to 2011, drafting decisions for three Board member panels. Before that, he practiced immigration law in Los Angeles for over 10 years with Cifuentes Knapp & Associates, and for nearly 4 years in Orange County as a solo practitioner. Prior to that, he worked for the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as an asylum officer in the mid 1990’s.