University of Houston Law Center Logo
Give Now  
HOME Faculty

Immigration Clinic Faculty


J. Anna Cabot

CabotImmigration Clinic Director
Clinical Associate Professor

Prior to teaching at the UH Law Center, Professor Cabot was the Practitioner in Residence in the Gender Justice Clinic at American University Washington College of Law. There she taught and supervised students representing clients with cases spanning immigration, housing, family law, domestic violence protection, wills, and name-and-gender change. Additionally, from 2014 to 2018, Professor Cabot was the William Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Connecticut School of Law, teaching in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic.

Professor Cabot’s research interests include the intersections of gender and cultural difference with global migration, immigration laws, and international law, and crisis-responsive clinical pedagogy. Most recently, Professor Cabot wrote a chapter for a book discussing expert country conditions testimony in fear-of-return immigration claims: Understanding the Legal Framework for Asylum: A Guide for Expert Witnesses in Practicing Asylum: A Handbook on Expert Witnesses in Latin American Domestic Violence, LGBTI, and Mother/Child Cases (Kimberly Gaudermann ed.) (forthcoming).

In addition to teaching, Professor Cabot has experience practicing immigration law. She was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS). In that position, she conducted appellate litigation before the US Courts of Appeal and the Board of Immigration Appeals, worked on litigation teams challenging immigration policies in the US District Courts, and represented clients in asylum cases involving gender-based and gang-based violence.

Professor Cabot also served the Managing Attorney as Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas. She represented clients in a wide variety of immigration claims in immigration court, before the Board of Immigration Appeals, and before the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Prior to her work at the border, Professor Cabot was the Legal Services Coordinator at Asylum Access Refugee Solutions in Tanzania.

Professor Cabot received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in 2009 and her B.A. from Amherst College in 2003. Professor Cabot graduated from college with a degree in physics and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, India.

Leticia Leal

Leticia LealClinical Supervising Attorney

Leticia Leal works at the University of Houston Law Center Clinical Programs, Immigration Clinic, as a clinical supervising attorney. She received her LLM in United States Law from the University of Houston Law Center in 2020 and is admitted to practice law both in Texas and Brazil. Having grown up in Rio de Janeiro, Leal received her Bachelor of Law in 2007 from Estácio de Sá University and a Bachelor of Physical Education from Castelo Branco University in 2002. Fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, Leal has a wide range of interests that include social activism as well as health and fitness.

Vanessa Lopez

Vanessa  LopezSenior Legal Clinic Supervisor

Professor Vanessa Lopez currently works as a supervising attorney at the University of Houston Law Center’s Immigration Clinic. She represents clients in a variety of immigration related issues, while overseeing students working on asylum cases before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Previously, Professor Lopez was a supervising attorney for the YMCA of Greater Houston. She was a manager for the detained adults’ program, working with immigrants detained in any of the four detention centers in the Houston area. She performed know-your-rights presentations through the Legal Orientation Program and represented immigrants in removal proceedings under the National Qualified Representatives Program. Part of her role was to hire and train legal and administrative assistants, and mentor attorneys. Professor Lopez also collaborated with participating non-profits as Harris County began its first universal representation program, the Immigration Legal Services Fund, for immigrants that are also Harris County residents.