School of Law 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 School of Lawlogo St. Mary's University
San Antonio's law school

Lee J. Terán

Clinical Professor of Law


  • J.D., 1975, University of Colorado
  • B.A., 1970, University of Utah

License to Practice

  • Texas

Specialties and Courses

  • Nationality Law
  • Immigration and human rights clinic
  • Immigration Law
  • Crime and immigration


Terán is a clinical professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law and directs the Immigration and Human Rights clinic. She is a 1975 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law. She has been licensed to practice in Texas since 1976, and since 1984 has been board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the area of immigration and nationality law.

Terán has litigated a number of civil rights cases concerning immigrants and refugees and was formerly a co-director of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She has written and frequently lectures on issues relating to nationality, immigrant victims of violence, and the immigration consequences of crimes.

Terán received the 1989 Pro Bono and Professional Responsibility Award from the American Bar Association Section on Litigation, the 1990 Carol Weiss King Award from the National Immigration Project, the 1992 Jack Wasserman Litigation Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the 1998 Distinguished Faculty Award from the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association, the 2004 Elmer Fried Teaching Award from AILA, and the 2009 Excellence in Legal Service Award from MALDEF.

Honors and Awards

Alice Franzke Feminist Award (2003), St. Mary’s University President’s Peace Commission
American Bar Association, Pro Bono and Professional Responsibility Award, 1991
American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for Excellence in Litigation, 1991
St. Mary’s University Alumni Association, Distinguished Faculty Award, 1998
Co-director, Immigration and Refugee Rights Project
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas


Articles in a Periodical

  • Mexican Children of U.S. Citizens: “Viges Prin” and Other Tales of Challenges to Asserting Acquired U.S. Citizenship, 14 The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues 583 (2012).
  • Barriers to Protection at Home and Abroad: Mexican Victims of Domestic Violence and the Violence Against Women Act, 17 Boston University International Law Journal 1 (Spring, 1999).

Shorter Work in Collection

  • Obtaining Remedies for INS Misconduct, Immigration Briefings (May, 1996)

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