Anna R. Welch
Libra Visiting Professor
Refugee and Human Rights Clinic
Anna R. Welch is the Libra Visiting Professor, and manages Maine Law's Refugee and Human Rights Clinic. She took the lead in launching the new clinic in the summer of 2012. Welch serves as a clinical professor and supervising attorney, as a classroom teacher and as an advisor to students who are interested in immigration law and human rights.
From 2010 until her appointment at Maine Law, served as a Fellow at Stanford Law School, where she taught and supervised students within Stanford's Immigrants' Rights Clinic.
A Maine native, Anna Welch spent her childhood in Maine, Florida and Colorado. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with honors and highest distinction, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Welch then went to the Washington College of Law at American University. She participated in the school's International Human Rights Clinic, which had a major impact in setting her career path. Welch graduated summa cum laude, order of the coif, and then went to Peru for a year, beginning in August of 2005, as a Fulbright Scholar. In Lima, Welch worked with a non-profit organization to establish a public water management system in Chosica, one of the shantytowns known in the city as "pueblo jovenes."
From 2006 to 2010, Welch practiced at the law firm Verrill Dana in Portland, where she was head of the firm's Immigration & Global Migration Group. She also served as a volunteer lawyer for the non-profit Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland. Welch was instrumental in helping to expand ILAP's roster of pro bono lawyers for asylum cases. In 2008 she earned ILAP's "Attorney of the Year" honor.
During her time at Verrill Dana, Welch taught immigration law at Maine Law, as an adjunct professor. She also helped supervise student attorneys at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. In 2010, Welch spent time in Nairobi, Kenya, where she served as a refugee protection officer at RefugePoint (formerly Mapendo International).