Pratheepan Gulasekaram

Associate Professor of Law (On Leave Fall 2014)


Professor Gulasekaram teaches Constitutional Law and Immigration Law and is well published on the topics of immigration federalism and the constitutional rights of noncitizens. His research currently focuses on the political and legal dynamics of state and local immigration regulations, including their constitutionality and their effect on federal immigration lawmaking.  He has also extensively explored the relationship between the Second Amendment and noncitizens, as a way of understanding constitutional protections for noncitizens. He is a frequent media commentator on issues of state and local immigration laws, comprehensive immigration reform, same-sex marriage, the first amendment, and equality concerns.

Professor Gulasekaram joined the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 2007, and has also taught as Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford Law School, Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at New York University School of Law and Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola University Law School in New Orleans. Prior to academia, he was a litigation associate with O’Melveny & Meyers LLP and Susman Godfrey LLP, both in Los Angeles. He clerked for the Honorable Jacques L. Wiener Jr. on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

In addition, he is the co-founder of the World Children’s Initiative, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health and educational infrastructure for children in developing areas around the world.


J.D., Stanford University, 2001

B.A., Brown University, 1996

Areas of Specialization

Constitutional Law, Immigration Law, Citizenship and the Rights of Noncitizens, State and Local Immigration Laws



Immigration Federalism: Its Political and Legal Dimensions with Ramakrishnan. (forthcoming)


Immigration Federalism: A Reappraisal, with Ramakrishnan, 88 New York University Law Review 2074-2145 (2013)

Restrictive State and Local Immigration Laws: Solutions in Search of Problems, with Ramakrishnan, 6 Advance: The Journal of the ACS Issue Groups 5-21 (November 2012) | Link to Digital Commons

The Importance of the Political in Immigration Federalism, with Ramakrishnan, 44 Arizona State Law Journal 1431-1488 (Winter 2012) | Link to Digital Commons

Guns and Membership in the American Polity, (Symposium: Noncitizen Participation in the American Polity), 21 William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 619-652 (2012) | Link to Digital Commons

Why a Wall?, 2 University of California at Irvine Law Review 147-191 (2012) | Link to Digital Commons

No Exception to the Rule: The Unconstitutionality of State Immigration Enforcement Laws, 5 Advance: The Journal of the ACS Issue Groups 37-55 (October 2011) | Link to Digital Commons

"The People" of the Second Amendment: Citizenship and the Right to Bear Arms, 85 New York University Law Review 1521-1580 (2010) | Link to Digital Commons

Sanctuary Policies and Immigration Federalism: A Dialectical Analysis, with Villazor, 55 Wayne Law Review 1683-1724 (2009) | Link to Digital Commons

Sub-National Immigration Regulation and the Pursuit of Cultural Cohesion, 77 University of Cincinnati Law Review 1441-1497 (2009) | Link to Digital Commons

Aliens with Guns: Equal Protection, Federal Power, and the Second Amendment, 92 Iowa Law Review 891-955 (2007) | Link to Digital Commons

Policing the Border Between Trademarks and Free Speech: Protecting Unauthorized Trademark Use in Expressive Works, 80 Washington Law Review 887-942 (2005) | Link to Digital Commons

Book Reviews

Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations, 1898-1922, 36 Stanford Journal of International Law 181-182 (2000) | Link to Digital Commons | Link to Library Catalog

Other Articles

Protecting Products That Go Hollywood [MCLE self study], with Welch, 24 California Lawyer 41 (2004) | Link to Full Text


Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors entry in Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice with Buss. 2nd edition. Macmillan Reference USA (2002) | Link to Library Catalog

Currently Teaching:

Spring 2015

Constitutional Law I

Wednesdays & Fridays

Spring 2015

Immigration Law