Rick Su

Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Asylum and Refugee Law
  • Federalism
  • Immigration Law
  • Land Use Law
  • Property Law and Real Estate
  • State and Local Government Law


Rick Su is a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of local government law, immigration, and federalism. His research focuses on the intersection between cities, immigration, and the criminal justice system. His work has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the North Carolina Law Review, and the William & Mary Law Review. He is also a co-author of the casebook “State and Local Government Law”.

Su received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 2001 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2004. After graduating from law school, he clerked for The Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He started his teaching career at the University at Buffalo School of Law, where he won the faculty teaching award in 2009 and 2015. He was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School in 2015 and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law in 2018.


  • J.D. (Magna Cum Laude), Harvard University (2004)
  • B.A. (Magna Cum Laude), English; Asian & Middle-Eastern Languages and Lit., Dartmouth College (2001)

Selected Publications

Designing Sanctuary, 122 MICH. L. REV. 809 (2024).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN

Defunding Police Agencies (with A. O’Rourke and G. Binder), 71 EMORY L.J. 1197 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Disbanding Police Agencies (with A. O'Rourke and G. Binder), 121 COLUM. L. REV. 1327 (2021).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Democracy in Rural America, 98 N.C. L. REV. 837 (2020).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

The First Anti-Sanctuary Law: Proposition 187 and the Transformation of Immigration Enforcement, 53 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 1983 (2020).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Anti-Sanctuary and Immigration Localism (with P. Gulasekaram & R. Cuison Villazor), 119 COLUM. L. REV. 837 (2019).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Intrastate Federalism, 19 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 191 (2016).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

The States of Immigration, 54 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1339 (2013).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Local Fragmentation as Immigration Regulation, 47 HOUS. L. REV. 367 (2010) (Excerpted in GERALD E. FRUG ET AL., LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS 854 (5th ed. 2010)).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

A Localist Reading of Local Immigration Regulations, 86 N.C. L. REV. 1619 (2008), excerpted in GERALD E.FRUG ET AL., LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW:CASES AND MATERIALS 840(5thed. 2010). Republished in 29 IMMIGR. & NAT'LITY L.REV. 741 (2008).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

In the Media