Michele R. Pistone

Prof. Michele R. Pistone

Director of Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CA, Villanova University School of Law

Professor Pistone is a Professor of Law and teaches the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES).

Prior to joining the Villanova faculty in 1999, Professor Pistone was a teaching fellow in the asylum clinic (Center for Applied Legal Studies) at Georgetown University Law Center.  Professor Pistone received her B.S. cum laude New York University, her J.D. cum laude from St. John's University School of Law, and her LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center. At St. John's, she was a member of the St. John's Law Review. Before joining the Villanova faculty in 1999, she was an associate in the corporate and telecommunications departments at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City and Washington, D.C., the Legal Director of Human Rights First in Washington, D.C., where she emerged as a leading advocate for justice in the immigration law system.

In 2006, Professor Pistone was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to lecture at the University of Malta.

Professor Pistone is Co-Chair of the ABA Committee on Clinical and Skills Education of ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and member of the Planning Committee for the Joint ABA, AALS and CLEA Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Council on Legal Education for Professional Responsibility (CLEPR), and on the Executive Committee of the International Human Rights Law Section.  Professor Pistone also serves on the International Advisory Board for the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights.

Professor Pistone's research and teaching interests focus on asylum and refugee law, immigration law, migration, clinical education, and Catholic social thought.  She is co-author of a groundbreaking book entitled, Stepping Out of the Brain Drain: Applying Catholic Social Teaching in a New Era of Migration (Lexington Books 2007).

She has also written numerous articles and book chapters, including The Acceptance of Immigrants: Lessons from the Past and Questions for the Future (with John Hoeffner) in the Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights; “In All Things Love”:  Immigration, Policy-Making, and the Development of Preferential Options for the Poor  (with John Hoeffner) in the Journal of Catholic Social Thought; Rethinking Immigration of the Highly-Skilled and Educated in the Post-9/11 World (with John Hoeffner) in the Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy; Rules Are Made To Be Broken: How the Process of Expedited Removal Fails Asylum Seekers (with John Hoeffner) in Georgetown Immigration Law Journal; An Overview of United States Immigration Law, in Marriage of Undocumented Residents (Canon Law Society of America, ed. 2006); The Devil in the Details: How Specific Should Catholic Social Teaching Be? in the Journal of Catholic Social Thought; A Times Sensitive Response to Professor Aleinikoff’s Detaining Plenary Power, in Georgetown Immigration Law Journal; The New Asylum Rule: Improved but Still Unfair (with Philip G. Schrag)in Georgetown Immigration Law Journal; Assessing the Proposed Refugee Protection Act: One Step in the Right Direction in Georgetown Immigration Law Journal; and Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: A Proposal for Ending the Unnecessary Detention of Asylum Seekers in Harvard Human Rights Journal.

  • New York University, BS
  • St. John's University School of Law, JD
  • Georgetown University Law Center, LLM


A person listed as a contributor has spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on this list does not imply any other endorsement or relationship between the person and the Federalist Society. In most cases, the biographical information on a person's "contributor" page is provided directly by the person, and the Federalist Society does not edit or otherwise endorse that information. The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. All expressions of opinion by a contributor are those of the contributor.