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Jay W Stansell

Visiting Faculty


Jay W Stansell is a lawyer and educator who has actively practiced law in the United States since 1988, most recently for 19 years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, and previously as a Staff Attorney for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. He has taught clinical law and evidence at the University of Washington School of Law, International Human Rights Law at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Cambodia, and undergraduate college programs on law, politics, and economics at The Evergreen State College in Washington state. Apart from his direct legal work and

formal teaching appointments, for over 30 years Jay has planned or participated in a wide variety of community workshops and seminars in the US on “know your rights”, the rights of immigrants and refugees, immigration law, and the criminal justice system, as well as Continuing Legal Education seminars on client communication, effective storytelling, and more. Prof. Stansell is a member of the Bar Associations for Washington state, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

Areas of Interest

Comparative constitutional law; law, politics and culture; criminal justice law; creative legal practice; community lawyering; and the law of human migration. 


  • “The Human Rights Situation of Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast”, unpublished manuscript, University of Washington School of Law (1987);
  • “Humanitarian Law, Non-Refoulement, and Salvadoran Refugees in the United States: Alternatives to Asylum”, unpublished manuscript, University of Washington School of Law (1988); 
  • “Civil Document Fraud”, paper presented at the annual conference of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1994; 
  • “The Human Rights Consequences of Not Being ‘American’”, paper presented at Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, (2002); 
  • “Letter From Phnom Penh: Thoughts from the front lines of the war on immigrants, (with D. Cahn), Z Magazine, October 2003; 
  • “From Refugee to Deportee: How U.S. Immigration Law Failed the Cambodian Community”, 
  • Jay W. Stansell, 6 (with D. Cahn), in Race, Culture, Psychology, & Law, Barrett and George, eds., 2005, Sage; 
  • “Cracks in the Armor – Defending Criminal Defendants in United States District Court”, paper presented at Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Criminal Justice Act Panel, (2011).   


 Law, Religion and Culture

Period: Autumn 2023

Education History

Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, University of Wisconsin – Madison; 

Master of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; 

Juris Doctor, University of Washington School of Law;