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About Jill E. Family

Jill E. Family is an internationally-known expert in immigration law. Her scholarship focuses on the procedures used to adjudicate immigration issues.  She brings her expertise into the classroom in courses on civil procedure, administrative law, and immigration law.
Professor Family’s scholarship draws on administrative law and constitutional law, as well as comparative study of procedures in other countries. She has studied extensively the U.S. immigration court system, immigration agency policymaking, the role of the federal courts in immigration law, and the relationships between the three branches of government in setting, implementing, and interpreting immigration law. She has published in British and Spanish law journals, in addition to many leading U.S. law reviews.  Her expertise played a prominent role in a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee,  Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, when she testified about the administrative law implications of President Obama's immigration proposals.
As the director of the Law and Government Institute at Widener, Professor Family works with students, government officials, legislators, judges, attorneys, and the public to explore legislation, the intersection of law and policy, and the work of administrative agencies.
During the spring of 2012, Professor Family was a visiting scholar at Queen Mary School of Law in London. She received the 2011 Douglas E. Ray Excellence in Faculty Scholarship Award, and the National Administrative Law Judiciary Foundation selected Professor Family as its 2010 Fellow. Her article “Administrative Law through the Lens of Immigration Law” was selected for reprinting in an anthology of immigration law scholarship. Professor Family served as a member of the governing council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Administrative Law, and she is a Fellow of the American Bar Association’s American Bar Foundation.


Present Commonwealth Professor of Law and Government; Director, Law and Government Institute, Widener University Commonwealth Law School


  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Immigration Law
  • Introduction to Immigration Law Practice

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Immigration Law (31)