Diana R. Blank
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor and William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow
JD, Yale Law School
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
BA, Stanford University
Immigration Law, Anthropology of Law
Diana Blank co-teaches the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, through which UConn Law students represent migrants seeking refuge from persecution in their native countries. Before joining the UConn School of Law, she was a staff attorney at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association and a visiting clinical lecturer in law at the Yale Law School. In that joint capacity, she co-founded and co-taught the Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic, an experiential education program through which she designed and taught a clinical seminar and supervised law students who served as the primary advocates for undocumented immigrants defending themselves against removal. Over the course of 13 semesters teaching that clinic, she supervised students pursuing an array of relief on behalf of their clients, in a diversity of legal fora —including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Hartford Immigration Court, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Professor Blank’s past scholarship in anthropology focused on shifting conceptualizations of national and local belonging in Ukraine and in France, as reflected in discourses on immigration, race, religion, and language politics. She was originally initiated into the sphere of immigration practice as a translator and interpreter for the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. At Yale Law School, she enrolled in two clinics: Legal Services for Immigrant Communities and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. She was awarded the Yale Law School’s Stephen J. Massey Prize for that clinical work, as well as the Raphael Lemkin Prize for her writing on human rights. Her experience in education includes teaching English at a refugee resettlement organization in New York City and, as a Fulbright fellow, in secondary schools in France. She has also taught college-level courses in anthropology and interdisciplinary studies, as a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley and as a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar at Columbia University.
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