Jennifer M. Chacón’s research is at the nexus of immigration law, constitutional law, and criminal law and procedure. Her writings elucidate how legal frameworks on immigration and law enforcement shape individual and collective understandings of racial and ethnic identity, citizenship, civic engagement, and social belonging. She is the co-author of the immigration law textbook Immigration Law and Social Justice, now in its second edition, and the co-author of a forthcoming book on the impact of shifting immigration policies on immigrant communities and organizations in Southern California from 2014 to 2018. She has written dozens of articles, book chapters, and essays on immigration, criminal law, constitutional law, and citizenship issues. Her research has been funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the University of California.
Professor Chacón is a past Chair of the American Association of Law School’s Section on Immigration, and a member of the American Law Institute and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Committee. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and currently serves on the ABF Board of Directors. She has served on the Advisory Committee of the American Bar Foundation’s “Future of Latinos in the U.S.” project and on the University of Oxford Border Criminologies Advisory Group. She was a co-convenor of the Immigration Policy Advisory Committee to then-Senator Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign, and an outside advisor to the Immigration Transition Team of President-Elect Barack Obama from November 2008 through January 2009.
Professor Chacόn was an associate at the New York law firm of Davis Polk and Wardwell after clerking for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas of the Ninth Circuit (1998-1999). She has also held appointments as a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, the UCLA School of Law, and the UC Davis King Hall School of Law, and as a Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Administration at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. She was a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School (2015-2016) and Harvard Law School (2014-2015).
She received the Distinguished Teaching Award at the UC Davis King Hall School of Law (2009), a student-sponsored teaching awards at Harvard Law School (2014), and the Professor of the Year award at UCLA School of Law (2021). She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. in International Relations from Stanford University.