Mary Holper is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigration
Clinic at Boston College Law School. Prior to joining the BCLS faculty, Professor Holper
was an Associate Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode
Island, where she founded and directed the Roger Williams University School of Law
Immigration Clinic. Professor Holper previously worked at BCLS supervising students in
the school’s immigration clinics. From 2008-2009, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor
at BCLS. She also was a detention fellow for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
(CLINIC) at the Boston College Immigration and Asylum Project at BCLS from 2005-07, and a
Human Rights Fellow for the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International
Justice from 2007-08. She began her career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the
Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition in Washington, D.C. Throughout her
career, she has represented immigration detainees who face removal and has participated
in impact litigation challenging the overuse of mandatory detention and indefinite
detention and the classification of certain crimes as “aggravated felonies” in
immigration law. In addition, Professor Holper has represented other vulnerable
noncitizen populations such as refugees, juveniles, victims of domestic violence, and
victims of violent crime. Professor Holper has spoken on numerous panels about
immigration issues, particularly on the intersection of immigration law and crimes and
removal proceedings. She also has written and co-authored articles for various handbooks,
reference guides, and law reviews regarding immigration issues. 



Confronting Cops in Immigration Court, William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal (2015)

Immigration judges routinely use police reports to make life-altering decisions in noncitizens’ lives. The word...



Deportation for a Sin: Why Moral Turpitude Is Void for Vagueness, Nebraska Law Review (2012)

A major problem facing noncitizen criminal defendants today is the vagueness of the term “crime...



The New Moral Turpitude Test: Failing Chevron Step Zero, Brooklyn Law Review (2011)

In the waning days of the Bush administration, Attorney General Michael Mukasey decided In re...

The Importance of Finding the “Right” Circuit for Your Immigration Case (with Jeff Joseph and Gerald Seipp), Immigration Briefings (2009)


Specific Intent and the Purposeful Narrowing of Victim Protection Under the Convention Against Torture, Oregon Law Review (2009)

Article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading...


Contributions to Books

Advanced Issues in Relief from Removal (with Ron Russell, Mark Silverman, and Joseph A. Vail), Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook (2008)

Forthcoming Articles


The Expansion of “Particularly Serious Crimes” in Refugee Law: Mirroring the Severity Revolution, Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 381 (2015)

Refugees are not protected from deportation if they have been convicted of a “particularly serious...


Selected Professional Activities

Panelist, Keeping Hispanic Immigrant Families Together: Catholic Perspectives, The Church in the 21st Century Center and The School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College (2015)
Immigration in the Obama Administration, Immigration 2014: How Did We Get There? What Are the Issues? What Are the Possibilities?; Boston College Graduate Students of Color Association (2014)
Adoption, Custody, and Family Unity, Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice Conference on the Draft Convention on the Rights of Forcibly Expelled Persons (2014)
Parental Rights, Child Custody, and Adoption, Conference on the Draft Convention on the Rights of Forcibly Expelled Persons, Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice (2014)
The Nuts and Bolts of Asylum Law, Boston Bar Association (2014)