Distinguished visiting scholars join UW Law’s Experiential Learning Program
This fall, UW Law welcomes distinguished scholars Mireille Butler and Jennifer Lee Koh to the law school’s Experiential Learning Program.
Butler will teach the first-year Legal Analysis, Research and Writing (LARW) program, and Koh takes over as director of the Immigration Law Clinic.
Learn more about their careers and what they bring to their new roles.
Mireille Butler | Visiting Scholar, Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Program
Mireille Butler was most recently director of the Legal Research and Writing (LRW) Program at Pepperdine University School of Law, where she taught the 1L LRW class for the past decade.
In addition to 1L classes, Mireille taught advanced legal writing courses, facilitated an Academic Success Program, and had extensive experience teaching, tutoring and preparing legal orientation programs for LL.M. students.
Writing, she says, is one of the biggest keys to becoming an effective lawyer.
“Legal writing and analysis to me is the foundation of everything we do,” Butler says. “To be able to transform something that can be very complex into language that is simple, concise and clear enough so others can understand that yours is the only possible interpretation… that is the basis of what it is like to be a lawyer.”
Prior to joining the Pepperdine LRW faculty, Butler served as the assistant dean and director of Pepperdine’s Career Development Office from 2007-2010.
During the 2016-17 academic year on leave from Pepperdine, she directed the LL.M. Legal Research and Writing Program at the University of California, Berkeley. She returned in 2017 and 2018 as an adjunct at Berkeley while maintaining a full-time teaching load at Pepperdine.
“Legal writing and analysis to me is the foundation of everything we do.”Mireille Butler
Butler garners immense respect in the field and has presented on legal research and writing topics at numerous flagship conferences, including the Legal Writing Institute Conference, Global Skills Legal Conference, Western Regional Legal Research and Writing Conference, and AALS Conference.
She says she looks forward to helping students master these critical skills as they begin their law school careers.
“I tell my students that we are all in the same boat,” Butler says. “It will require a lot of editing and drafts, but this is something that, unlike other fields, everyone can master: It just takes a lot of hard work. There are no ‘ifs’, just a question of when.”
Jennifer Lee Koh | Director, Immigration Law Clinic
Jennifer Lee Koh began teaching in 2007 as a clinical fellow at Stanford Law School, where she supervised students in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and participated in the law school’s multiclinic program for three years.
She joined the full-time faculty at Western State College of Law in 2010, where she founded its Immigration Clinic. Koh has also been as a visiting professor at UC Irvine School of Law, where she taught Legal Profession and Administrative Law.
She currently serves on the Board of Editors of the Clinical Law Review, and she also sits on the boards of directors for nonprofits The Public Law Center and Orange County Justice Fund.
She says she is excited to bring her passion for immigration law to her work with the clinic.
“Immigration to me is the domestic human rights issue really of our time,” Koh says. “This is where human rights violations are taking place on U.S. soil. It is the venue in which the United States has an opportunity to be responsive to human rights violations happening abroad, and right now, it is not carrying out those obligations… In its own right, the law is fascinating, it's complex and it's changing.”
“I hope that through working on those issues, my students will gain not just a sense of who they want to be as lawyers and what lawyers can bring to the table, but also an appreciation of the big picture and individual impact when it comes to immigration.”Jennifer Lee Koh
Jennifer’s extensive scholarship has been cited by the United States Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her work has appeared in the Stanford Law Review Online, Duke Law Journal Online, Washington University Law Review, Southern California Law Review, North Carolina Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Florida Law Review, Clinical Law Review and Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. She is currently working on an essay that will be published in the Yale Law Journal.
As a leading scholar in the field of immigrants’ rights, Koh says she is excited to work with students to make a difference in the lives of clients throughout Washington.
“I'm really fortunate to step into this legacy of great immigration work that the law school has already done,” Koh says. “We'll be confronting some of the hardest questions that face our justice systems. I hope that through working on those issues, my students will gain not just a sense of who they want to be as lawyers and what lawyers can bring to the table, but also an appreciation of the big picture and individual impact when it comes to immigration.”