JD, Yale Law School, 2014
BA, BS, magna cum laude, University of Maryland, 2011
Mary Yanik directs the Immigrant Rights Clinic, supervising students in representing immigrants in deportation defense, affirmative applications for lawful status, constitutional litigation, and strategic advocacy. She specializes in assisting immigrant workers, including victims of labor trafficking, and in defending constitutional rights of immigrants.
Yanik previously worked at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, leading a law & organizing practice in support of community-directed campaigns for labor, migrant, and racial justice. She served as local and trial counsel in federal litigation challenging the constitutionality of Louisiana’s marriage license law and, separately, prolonged immigration detention in Louisiana. She represented dozens of immigrant workers in reporting labor abuse to the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and National Labor Relations Board, including the immigrant whistleblower who complained of unsafe conditions at the now-collapsed Hard Rock Hotel site in New Orleans. She further represented immigrant workers and immigrant victims of crime in U and T visa applications based on their assistance to government officials, in part through supervising law students in the Tulane Immigrant Rights’ Practicum. After law school, she clerked for Judge David F. Hamilton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
In the Clinic, Professor Yanik teaches core lawyering skills alongside reflection on the role of lawyers, clients, and communities in addressing social injustice and power dynamics in legal relationships and legal systems. The Clinic represents individual detained immigrants in seeking release and relief from deportation and also engages in strategic advocacy in defense of migrant rights. Professor Yanik continues to monitor and enforce the federal consent judgment in Cacho v. Gusman, the landmark case that prohibits the Orleans Parish Prison from transferring most immigrants to federal immigration authorities.
Yanik received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2014 and a bachelor of science and bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, from University of Maryland in 2011.