Kari Hong is an associate professor of law at Boston College Law School and an expert in immigration law, criminal law, and LGBT issues. Her scholarship and advocacy focuses on immigration policy, criminal justice reform, and immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
Her political analysis has appeared in CNN, USA Today, the Associated Press, Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. Her commentary has appeared on television, radio, and in print.
In addition, she founded and runs the BC Ninth Circuit Appellate Program, which provides pro bono representation to non-citizens with criminal convictions. The clinic’s mission is to use federal court advocacy to restore proportionality and common sense into the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Of the seven decisions that have been decided, BC law students have prevailed in six cases and three of the decisions are published. Three more decisions are pending. Notable decisions include Lopez-Valencia v. Lynch, 798 F.3d 863 (9th Cir. 2015) (holding Cal. Pen. Code § 484(a) overbroad and indivisible) (Kelly Schwartz ’15 and Jeremy Sanders ’15) and Villavicencio v. Sessions, 879 F.3d 941 (9th Cir. 2018) (holding Nev. Rev. Stat. 199.480 overbroad and indivisible as a conspiracy offense and Nev. Rev. Stat. 454.351 overbroad and indivisible as a controlled substance offense) (Katherine Horigan ’17 and Yara Kass-Gergi ’17)
Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Hong owned her own firm with offices in California and Oregon. Professor Hong has prepared over 100 actions in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 50 state criminal appeals, and has argued over 20 published decisions. Notable decisions include Ridore v. Holder, 696 F.3d 907 (9th Cir. 2012), which established CAT eligibility for U.S. criminal deportees in Haiti subject to indefinite detention; Tyson v. Holder, 670 F.3d. 1015 (9th Cir. 2012), which held that the protections of St. Cyr are not limited to the plea context; and Carrillo-Jaime v. Holder, 572 F.3d 747 (9th Cir. 2009), which established that California's theft statute was overbroad as an aggravated felony.
Before entering private practice, she clerked for the Honorable Jeremy Fogel, U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California and the Honorable Sidney Thomas, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Swarthmore College.