Denise Wager | December 12, 2017
After his first year as a law student, Michael Hagerty, ’13 J.D., spent his summer hiking the desert trails of the U.S.-Mexico border.
As a research assistant for Paolo Carozza, a Notre Dame Law professor and director of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Hagerty was trying to better understand the challenges of migrants and the governmental and societal responses to undocumented migration.
He performed field work, conducted interviews in several border cities, and traveled to the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation – an area that has witnessed a high concentration of both migration and migration deaths along the border.
The experience sparked a professional and personal interest in immigration law that led Hagerty into a career serving immigrant children.
Following his graduation from the Law School, Hagerty was a Thomas L. Shaffer Fellow with the Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles. During his fellowship, he represented undocumented children in immigration court and before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In these cases, the children had been very young when their parents brought them to the United States and had lived most of their lives here without immigration status.