Elizabeth M. Knowles joined the Akron Law faculty in 2016. Professor Knowles supervises the Immigration & Human Rights Law Clinic and teaches Asylum and Refugee Law. Her current research explores access to justice issues for detained non-citizens and holistic approaches to advocating for ultra-vulnerable clients in removal proceedings.
Prior to joining Akron Law, Professor Knowles served as Executive Director of the American Bar Association's Immigration Justice Project (IJP). She supervised the Legal Orientation Program at the Otay Mesa Detention Center on the U.S. - Mexico Border and the IJP's Pro Bono Lawyer Training Program. She implemented and directed the National Qualified Representative program for the San Diego region, serving along with her legal team as government appointed counsel for mentally incompetent detainees in immigration removal proceedings. Professor Knowles created and directed the Immigration Removal Defense Clinic at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, training students to represent detained, asylum-seekers in immigration court. Professor Knowles also served as a Commissioner on the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and chaired the Commission's Domestic Violence Committee.
Professor Knowles is a member of the California State Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Constitution Society. She earned her B.A. in Fine Arts from San Diego State University and her J.D. and certificate in Law and Social Justice from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.