Torts, Immigration Law, Domestic Violence
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Mariela Olivares is an Assistant Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law. Previously, she was an adjunct lecturer, teaching Family Law at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Professor Olivares recently completed a Teaching Fellowship in the Domestic Violence Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where for two years she supervised law students in a litigation clinic and taught in the Domestic Violence Clinic seminar. Her professional and scholarly interests include the intersection of family law, domestic violence and immigration law and policy, including access to justice for immigrants and limited-English proficient populations. She recently published A Final Obstacle: Barriers to Divorce for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and is currently working on scholarship about immigration law and policy and immigrants’ rights and advocacy.
Professor Olivares has considerable expertise in family law and domestic violence law. She is the former Managing Attorney for the Domestic Violence/Family Law division at Ayuda, a leading provider of services for low-income immigrant victims of domestic violence. She counseled and represented hundreds of victims of violence while managing Ayuda’s legal and social service programs. Additionally, Professor Olivares managed Ayuda’s domestic violence outreach and media efforts and participated in Spanish-language print, radio and television programs. She remains active in domestic violence and family law advocacy—participating and presenting at conferences and trainings. She has also volunteered with a non-profit organization serving indigent victims of domestic violence seeking legal representation in domestic violence, divorce, child custody, child support and child-abuse and neglect cases. In that capacity, Professor Olivares assisted lawyers in their pro bono representation of clients, drawing on her extensive expertise in family law matters for low-income victims of domestic violence.
Before working at Ayuda, Professor Olivares was an associate at Wiley Rein & Fielding, LLP, where she practiced in the areas of employment discrimination, director and officer insurance liability and appellate law. Moreover, she represented various individuals through her pro bono practice, including successfully obtaining asylum for a client on the basis of sexual orientation and HIV status.
After law school, Professor Olivares clerked on the Supreme Court of Texas. She received her LLM in Advocacy with Distinction from Georgetown and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar and the Executive Editor of the Michigan Law Review. Professor Olivares graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas-Austin with highest honors and special honors with degrees in Plan II Honors and Spanish Literature.
Professor Olivares is a member of the D.C. Bar Family Law Taskforce, and a former member of the Family Law Section Steering Committee of the D.C. Bar and the Domestic Violence Unit Task Force of the D.C. Superior Court. She is a member of the D.C. Bar and Texas Bar.
updated: November 27, 2012