Erin Barbato

Director, Immigrant Justice Clinic

Erin  Barbato

Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

Room 4311, Law School

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Erin M. Barbato is the Director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She teaches second and third year law students to represent individuals in removal proceedings and with humanitarian-based immigration relief. The work often involves representing people seeking refuge in the United States. Previously, Erin worked as an immigration attorney at a non-profit organization and in private practice as well.  

Prior to attending law school, Erin volunteered as a teacher at El Centro del Muchacho Trabajador, a non-profit organization in Quito, Ecuador. While in Quito, she worked with families and recently resettled refugee families living at or below the poverty line.

The Wisconsin Law Journal recognized Erin in 2010 as an Up and Coming Lawyer for her dedication to representing immigrants and pro bono service. In 2013, she received the Lee and Lynn Copen Family Justice Award from Women and Children's Horizons for her work with immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Wisconsin Law Journal again recognized Erin's work with immigrants by awarding her as a Woman in the Law in 2014. She has also been a member of Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society since 2013. In 2021, the students at the University of Wisconsin Law School awarded her with the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award. 

She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, (AILA) the Wisconsin Bar Association, on the Board of Directors of the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) and DREAMers of Wisconsin. She is also a faculty affiliate with Chican@ & Latin@ Studies at the College of Letters & Science.

Professor Barbato is currently researching and implementing transational immigration human rights clinics through out the Americas. She is building partnerships with law school clinics in other countries to provide a wholistic, transational immigration legal and health information. Through a project entitled "Safe Passage" she seeks to reduce the harm that people suffer in transit to the US to seek refuge through legal and health mitigation factors. 

Scholarship & Publications


Law Repository


  • Erin Barbato co-presented “Legal Access for Migrants in Transit in Colombia and Mexico: Creating a Transnational Immigrant Justice Clinic” on Feb. 20, 2024. The presentation was part of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program Lunchtime Lecture Series.

  • Erin Barbato presented "Understanding the Impact of Racism and White Supremacy on U.S. Immigration, Detention and Enforcement" during the YWCA 8th Annual Racial Justice Conference on Nov. 10, 2022. 

  • Erin Barbato presented "Understanding the Impact of Racism and White Supremacy on the US Immigration System in order to Better Serve People that are Undocumented and DACAmented" as part of the Social Workers Confronting Racial Injustice Conference 2021

  • Erin Barbato participated in an online forum, “Current Realities for DACA Recipients and Asylum Seekers,” in June 2020. The event was sponsored by Alverno College and ACLU Wisconsin and organized by the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County.

  • In January 2020, Erin Barbato gave a talk at Medical College of Wisconsin, as part of a Pediatric Grand Rounds program titled "Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Immigrant and Border Health."

  • Erin Barbato participated on the panel, “From Awareness to Action: Immigration’s Impact on Children from Madison to the Northern Triangle of Central America,” in November 2019. The free, public event was held at UW-Madison.

  • In March, Erin Barbato presented the keynote, “Our Current Immigration Policies: Reflections from Our Southern Border to Our Badger State,” at UW-Madison’s Academic Staff Institute.

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