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Emily Ryo

Assistant Professor of Law and SociologyUSC Gould School of Law

Emily Ryo
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 406
Personal Website: http://works.bepress.com/eryo

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last updated Wed, Oct 21, 2015


Emily Ryo is an assistant professor of law and sociology at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.  She received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University.  Immediately prior to joining USC, she was a research fellow at Stanford Law School.  She served as a law clerk to the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced law at the international law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton.

Questions of citizenship and international migration, which raise new challenges and opportunities for democracy and diversity, are central themes in her research.  Her current research focuses on immigration detention, criminal justice, and the legal attitudes and legal noncompliance of noncitizens.  She approaches these questions through innovative interdisciplinary lenses, using diverse quantitative and qualitative methods.  As an empirical legal scholar, she has published widely in both leading sociology and law journals.



  • “Detained: A Study of Immigration Bond Hearings.” Law & Society Review. - (SSRN) - (bepress)
  • “Moral Judgments, Expressive Functions, and Bias in Immigration Law.” Immigration and Nationality Law Review. - (SSRN) - (bepress)
  • “Less Enforcement, More Compliance: Rethinking Unauthorized Migration,” 62 UCLA Law Review 622 (2015) - (www) - (SSRN) - (bepress) - (Hein)
  • "Deciding to Cross: The Norms and Economics of Unauthorized Migration," 78 American Sociological Review 574 (2013). - (www) - (bepress)
  • "Poverty Alleviation through Public Works," in Rebuild America: Solving the Economic Crisis through Civic Works (Scott Myers-Lipston ed., 2009).
  • "The Lost Sanctuary: Examining Sex Trafficking through the Lens of United Status v. Ah Sou," 41 Cornell International Law Journal 739 (2008) (with McKeown, M.) . - (Hein) - (bepress)
  • "Culture of Poverty," in Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society (Richard T. Schaefer ed., 2008).
  • "Organizational Diversity, Validity, and Outcomes in the Civil Rights Movement," 85 Social Forces 1561 (2007) (with Olzak, S.). - (bepress) - (Hein)
  • "Through the Back Door: Applying Theories of Legal Compliance to Illegal Immigration During the Chinese Exclusion Era," 31 Law and Social Inquiry 109 (2006) (Best Graduate Student Paper Prize, 2005). - (Hein) - (bepress)
  • "Did Katrina Recalibrate Attitudes Towards Poverty and Inequality?: A Test of the 'Dirty Little Secret' Hypothesis," 3 Du Bois Review 59 (2006) (with Grusky, D.). - (bepress)
  • "Elusive Citizenship: Immigration, Asian Americans, and the Paradox of Civil Rights," 2 Law, Culture and Humanities 472 (2006) (book review).
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