Karen Pita Loor

Karen Pita Loor

Associate Dean for Experiential Education

Clinical Professor of Law
Michaels Faculty Research Scholars

BS, magna cum laude, Barry University
JD, cum laude, Washington College of Law, American University


Biography

Karen Pita Loor assumed her role of associate dean of clinical & experiential education on July 1, 2020 after eight years teaching and supervising student attorneys in the Defender Division of the BU Criminal Law Clinical Program as they represent indigent clients charged with crimes in the Boston District Court.  Loor also teaches a seminar that she developed entitled Regulation of the Immigrant Experience where students examine, through a legal lens, the obstacles immigrants face in American society.

As associate dean of experiential education, Loor understands that through BU Law’s various clinics, practicums, and externships,  students learn, engage in valuable public interest and service work, and build productive working relationships with practicing attorneys.  She views these programs as part of BU’s connection to and impact on its community, as BU Law students practice in local courts—and even on the world—as students travel on international legal services projects. Recognizing the impact that BU Law clinical students are having in real time and will have as practicing attorneys, Loor’s main priorities entail instituting training and support for students as they work to become culturally competent lawyers and encouraging them to explore systemic problems related to poverty, race, and other intersecting identities that affect the client population of many of the clinics.

Loor writes and speaks as an expert on issues related to protest policing, criminal law and procedure, police violence and immigrants’ rights.  She encourages students to use their education to join conversations around legal matters and does the same.  She has testified in support of legislation that would make Massachusetts a sanctuary state. She has organized trips – involving law students and other faculty — to the Mexican side of the border to assist migrants seeking asylum.  She supervised a group of students who filed an amicus brief in a first-of-its-kind case arguing that Massachusetts state and local law enforcement do not have the authority to detain a criminal defendant pursuant to an immigration detainer.

Loor initially joined the BU Law clinical faculty in 2011 after serving as a clinical associate professor with the Florida International University College of Law, supervising law students representing unaccompanied immigrant children in immigration and neglect proceedings. She started her legal career as a staff attorney at the premier public defender office in the country, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she represented indigent clients in criminal trial and appellate matters.

In the Media

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  • The Dallas Express April 26, 2022

    People’s Convoy Leaves Texas, Continues through California

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
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  • Associated Press February 18, 2022

    In GOP Embrace of Truckers, Some See Racist Double Standard

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
    read more

  • WBUR October 12, 2021

    The Perplexing Case of Biden, Tsarnaev and the Death Penalty

    A piece by Karen Pita Loor.
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  • Christian Science Monitor September 9, 2021

    What Happens When Protesters Take Over for the Police?

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
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  • The Wall Street Journal June 18, 2021

    States Stiffen Penalties for Those Deemed Rioters at Protests

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
    read more

  • Law360 June 7, 2021

    As ‘Anti-Riot’ Laws Pass, Legal Challenges Grow

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
    read more

  • Rewire April 22, 2021

    How Emergency Powers Pave the Way for Police Brutality at Protests

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
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  • The Daily Free Press April 16, 2021

    BU College Democrats Hold Annual Spring Panel, Discuss Activism

    Karen Pita Loor is quoted.
    read more

  • McGill Law Journal Podcast February 10, 2021

    The Ethics and Legality of Police Tactics During Public Demonstrations

    Karen Pita Loor is interviewed.
    read more

  • WBUR January 11, 2021

    Of Course The Mob That Stormed The Capitol Wasn’t Afraid

    Commentary by Karen Pita Loor.
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  • BU Today January 8, 2021

    Why a White Mob Felt They Could Storm the US Capitol without Fear

    Karen Pita Loor is interviewed.
    read more

  • WalletHub January 6, 2021

    Ask the Experts: Best Credit Cards Without SSN Requirements

    Karen Pita Loor is interviewed.
    read more

  • WBUR August 4, 2020

    Qualified Immunity Is Under Fire. Here’s How The Legal Defense Has Played Out In Mass. Cases

    Karen Pita Loor quoted.
    read more

  • Daily Californian July 30, 2020

    Berkeley City Council Regulates Airbnb to Protect Affordable Housing

    Karen Pita Loor quoted.
    read more

  • Wall Street Journal June 9, 2020

    Did the Curfews Work? Experts Aren’t So Sure

    Karen Pita Loor quoted.
    read more

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