FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Michelle Mendez

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Training and Legal Support Attorney
Silver Spring, MD, USA


Michelle N. Mendez has devoted her career to serving the immigrant population through her work with nonprofit organizations. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the 2014 Rotary International Paul Harris Award for her commitment to helping others through volunteerism and service, and the 2015 American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award, in part because of her leadership on Maryland Chapter 96 (2014), the “special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) law.” In addition, Ms. Mendez was recognized as a “Very Important Professional in Maryland” by The Daily Record in Baltimore in 2014.

Currently working as a staff attorney for Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) in its Training and Legal Support section, Ms. Mendez trains other attorneys, provides technical assistance, analyzes immigration legislation, and writes and updates CLINIC’s legal reference materials, while supporting CLINIC’s nonprofit affiliate members. She also oversees CLINIC’s role in the CARA Pro Bono Project, which seeks to end family detention while offering pro bono legal assistance to detained mothers and children. Prior to joining CLINIC, Ms. Mendez served as senior managing attorney in the Immigration Legal Services Program at Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington. She focused her practice on deportation defense litigation on behalf of detained and non-detained clients, family-based petitions, appellate advocacy, and humanitarian relief—including SIJS matters in Maryland state courts.

From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Mendez served as an adjunct professor at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law where she co-taught the Immigration Litigation Clinic. Ms. Mendez received her juris doctorate from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond. She also holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, and a Professional Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution through the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Ms. Mendez is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Medellín, Colombia, and also speaks French.

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