Jon Bauer, J.D. University of Connecticut

Jon Bauer, J.D.

Clinical Professor of Law


Expertise: Asylum and Refugee Law, Immigration Law, Employment and Housing Discrimination, and Legal Ethics

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Jon Bauer directs the Law School’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, a program in which law students, supervised by Clinic faculty, represent refugees who have fled persecution and are seeking asylum in the United States. Since the program’s founding in 2002, it has won grants of asylum or related forms of relief for more than 140 clients and their families. Professor Bauer, a Yale Law School graduate, has been teaching and supervising students since 1988, when he joined the UConn faculty after four years as a staff attorney with the Legal Action Center, a public interest law firm in New York City. His teaching also has included courses in employment discrimination law, refugee law, immigration and workplace rights, evidence, and a course about Wal-Mart, as well as clinics in the areas of civil rights, poverty law, and mediation.

Professor Bauer’s scholarly writing includes studies of multiple nationality and refugees, the role of physicians in asylum cases, the ethical implications of secret settlements, and discrimination against people with disabilities in the bar admissions process. An article on clinical pedagogy he co-authored with Professor James H. Stark has been included in the Clinical Legal Education Association’s bibliography of basic reading for new clinical teachers. When not in the classroom or in court, Professor Bauer dedicates much of his time to public service. He is a past president of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, and has served on the boards of several legal services organizations. In 2015, the Connecticut Bar Association presented him with the Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award for his contributions to legal education and the legal profession, and in 2016 he received a civil rights “Leaders and Legends” award from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

Areas of Expertise

Asylum and Human Rights
Employment and Housing Discrimination
Asylum and Refugee Law
Immigration Law
Legal Ethics


Yale Law School



Cornell University




  • University of Connecticut, Gladstein Committee (governing board of Human Rights Institute), 2011 to present
  • University of Connecticut, President’s Working Group on Immigration Changes, 2017 to present




Media Appearances

Outmoded mental health questions for bar admission are changing, but slowly

Reuters  online


To University of Connecticut School of Law professor Jon Bauer, who for three decades has been at the forefront of the fight in challenging bar mental fitness questions as discriminatory, it’s a “good example of the arc of the moral universe” (as Martin Luther King Jr once said) bending toward justice. “The tide is turning, although it’s a very slow process,” Bauer told me.

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'Here we go again': CT DACA recipients push forward after court decision

Hearst Connecticut Media  print


The decision in federal court wasn’t a surprise to Jon Bauer, who directs the University of Connecticut Law School’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic. Because Hanen is known for his conservative judicial philosophy, according to Bauer, the ruling was expected to interfere with DACA in some capacity. But Bauer said the ruling could be overturned. “The reasoning of the decision is very weak, in my opinion. The judge, I think, misconstrued the scope of the Department of Homeland Security's authority to engage in what's called deferred action, which is what the DACA program is,” Bauer said.

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Secrecy of Settlements at Fox News Hid Bad Behavior

New York Times  online


Jon Bauer, a professor of law at the University of Connecticut who has written extensively about workplace discrimination, also says the issue goes well beyond Fox News. “Employees are rewarded for shielding powerful people in the organization,” he said. “That’s the culture in many workplace settings.”

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Should Georgia Bar Licensing Authorities Ask Applicants About Their Mental Health?  online


The nation’s top state judges and the U.S. Department of Justice have teed up a tricky issue for state bar examiners in Georgia and around the country: Do questions about new law school graduates’ mental health do more harm than good, and do they violate the Americans With Disabilities Act?

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Bar Admissions Process Bends Toward Justice—With a Little Help

Connecticut Law Tribune  online


State bar examiners’ recent decision to eliminate all questions about mental health, switching instead to behavior-based questions, has made Connecticut an early leader nationwide.

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Congratulations Are in Order: Announcing 2019's Professional Excellence Winners  online


Winners of the 2019 Connecticut Legal Awards, including the three finalists for the Attorney of the Year, have been determined through a panel review of submissions sent in from attorneys and firms from across the state. In all, 65 winners from more than 40 different firms and organizations across the state are recognized in this year’s class of honorees.

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Beyond The U.S.-Mexico Border: A Look At Changes To U.S. Immigration Policy

Connecticut Public Radio  online


While the debate over a U.S.-Mexico border wall has been broadcast loudly across headlines, revisions to U.S. immigration policy have occurred quietly, with little notice.

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American Immigration Policies Past And Present

Connecticut Public Radio  online


Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that anyone who enters the United States illegally will be prosecuted, even if they are seeking asylum. This hour, we get the details on current immigration policies, and we ask: what has “legal immigration" really meant throughout our country’s history?

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Rule revision would allow noncitizens to practice law

New Haven Register  online


In his testimony, Bauer referenced a New York appellate court ruling which said “a person’s immigration status ‘does not, alone, suggest that the applicant is not possessed of the qualities that enable attorneys to vigorously defend their client’s interests within the bounds of the law, nor does it suggest that the applicant cannot protect ... the rule of law and the administration of justice.”

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Event Appearances

Breaking Down the Wall: How UConn Law and Social Work are Advocating for Immigrants

UConn Schools of Social Work and Law  Hartford, CT


Refugees and Refugee Advocacy

International Refugee Assistance Project, UConn Law School  Hartford, CT


Law School Clinics and the Work of the UConn Asylum and Human Rights Clinic

The Law Society, University of Connecticut,  Storrs, CT


Dreams Turned to Nightmares: The U.S. Immigration System, Youth, and Families

Diversity Week event, UConn Law School  Hartford, CT


Refugees and the Asylum “Crisis”

Tzedek Shabbat Speaker Series, Scarsdale Synagogue  Scarsdale, NY



Asylum seekers in a time of record forced global displacement: the role of physicians

Journal of General Internal Medicine

2019 In 2016, over 65 million individuals were displaced from their homes due to human rights abuses, and 262,000 people applied for asylum in the USA. Individuals who have experienced persecution are present in many primary and specialty clinics. A medical forensic evaluation can increase the likelihood of a successful asylum case.

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When Secret Settlements are Unethical


2015 This article explains why secrecy provisions in settlements that go beyond mandating confidentiality of the amount and terms of the settlement, and require the parties and their attorneys to refrain from disclosing the facts underlying the dispute, often violate two provisions of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Multiple Nationality and Refugees

J. Transnat'l L.

2014 Persons with more than one nationality (" multiple nationals") who flee persecution in their home country may have compelling reasons to seek asylum elsewhere rather than go to a second country of nationality where they have no ties or face serious hardships.

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Buying Witness Silence: Evidence-Suppressing Settlements and Lawyers' Ethics

Oregon Law Review


Lawyers frequently draft settlements that impede other parties' access to relevant evidence through clauses that prohibit the plaintiff from disclosing information to anyone with a claim against the defendant or forbid all discussion of the facts underlying the dispute. This Article argues that lawyers who negotiate these noncooperation agreements violate Rule 3.4(f) of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits requesting someone other than the lawyer's own client to withhold relevant information from another party, and Model Rule 8.4(d), which prohibits conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

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The Character of the Questions and the Fitness of the Process: Mental Health, Bar Admissions and the Americans with Disabilities Act

UCLA Law Review


During the decade since the Americans With Disabilities Act went into effect, mental health inquiries by bar examining committees have engendered intense controversy. Courts have reached no clear consensus as to what, if any, questions about mental illness or substance abuse may be posed by licensing agencies. The trend has been towards a form of relaxed scrutiny that authorizes inquiries as long as they are focused on serious conditions that may interfere with practice, and are reasonably tailored in scope and time. This article examines the implications of allowing disability inquiries in the lawyer licensing process.

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