Feature Stories UMass Law: New faculty and staff join UMass Law with strong teaching, research, and career experience

Assistant Professor of Law
Assistant Professor Faisal Chaudhry is one of five new faculty and staff members joining UMass Law this fall. An alumnus of Harvard Law School, he will teach Property I & II and Environmental Law.
Feature Stories UMass Law: New faculty and staff join UMass Law with strong teaching, research, and career experience
New faculty and staff join UMass Law with strong teaching, research, and career experience

Erica Sylvia '15, JD ‘17 returns to UMass Law as assistant director of bar success

UMass Law is pleased to announce that four new faculty members are joining the law school this fall. In addition, Erica Sylvia '15, JD '17, a summa cum laude alumna of UMass Dartmouth and a magna cum laude graduate of UMass Law, is returning to the law school as an adjunct professor and will help to prepare law students for the bar exam.

The new faculty bring strong teaching and career experience to the law school as well as diverse areas of expertise and published scholarship in refugee and immigrant rights, Islamic and Asian studies, health policy and law, and public housing and homelessness. 

“Student enrollment at UMass Law has grown substantially over the past few years, and so we are delighted that the law school has been able to recruit such outstanding new faculty members across a variety of legal disciplines that are so critical to our mission,” said Dean Eric Mitnick. “I am especially gratified to be able to work with our new Assistant Director of Bar Success, Erica Sylvia, not just because she is my former Torts student, but also because I know how well she will be able to relate to and work with our students as they prepare to succeed on the bar exam.” 

Assistant Professor Faisal Chaudhry holds multiple degrees from Columbia and Harvard universities

Assistant Professor Faisal Chaudhry joins the UMass Law faculty from the University of Dayton School of Law. Professor Chaudhry earned his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Columbia University, and his JD, MA, and PhD (history) degrees from Harvard University.  Prior to joining the Dayton law faculty, Professor Chaudhry served as a visiting assistant professor of law at the University of Arizona College of Law and a post-doctoral fellow and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Chaudhry's book, Globalizing Classical Legal Thought: India in the Age of Colonialism, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.  He has also published scholarly articles in the St. Johns Law Review, the North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, the Journal of Islamic Law & Culture, the Southern California International Law Journal, the Journal of Economic & Social History of the Orient, the Law & History Review, and Modern Asian Studies

At UMass Law, Professor Chaudhry will teach Property I & II and Environmental Law.

Roni Amit
Assistant Professor Roni Amit will direct the Immigration Law Clinic and teach courses in immigration law and refugee and asylum law. She has taught at the University of Tulsa College of Law.

Assistant Professor Roni Amit has worked in refugee and immigrant rights in the U.S. and South Africa

Assistant Professor Roni Amit joins the UMass Law faculty from the University of Tulsa College of Law, where she has served as assistant clinical professor of law and clinic director since 2019. Professor Amit earned her bachelors’ degree with honors from Tulane University prior to earning a master’s degree in international affairs at George Washington University, a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, and her JD from New York University. 

Prior to her work at Tulsa, Professor Amit was a clinical fellow at Hofstra Law in their Deportation Defense Clinic. She has taught courses on refugee and immigrant rights at Hunter College, and she practiced law and conducted research with the Refugee & Immigrant Center for Education & Legal Services (RAICES) in San Antonio, Texas; the African Center for Migration & Society and the Forced Migration Studies Program at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa; and Lawyers for Human Rights, also in Johannesburg.

Professor Amit has published scholarship in the Pace International Law Review, the Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the Journal of Refugee Studies, the South African Journal of Human Rights, and the International Journal of Refugee Law.  At UMass Law, Professor Amit will direct the Immigration Clinic and teach related courses in immigration law and refugee and asylum law.


Michael Hasday
Visiting Professor Michael Hasday joins UMass Law with strong private sector experience in labor, employment, and health law at New York City firms. He will teach Civil Procedure I & II and Health Law.

Visiting Professor of Law Michael Hasday will teach Civil Procedure and Health Law

Visiting Professor of Law Michael Hasday earned his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree, cum laude, from Northwestern University.  After graduating from law school, Professor Hasday served as an associate attorney in the Labor and Employment Department of the Proskauer Rose law firm in New York City, as the primary in-house counsel for Frenkel Benefits, a health care consulting firm, and as an associate attorney with the boutique litigation law firm of Anderson & Ochs in New York City. 

He has taught courses in health policy and law and international law and organization at DeSales University, and he has published in the NYU Annual Survey of American Law, the Notre Dame Law Review Online, the Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat, and the Harvard Law & Policy Review Blog.  Professor Hasday's article, "Running it Twice (or Thrice): Double-Header, Triple-Header, and Reverse Baseball Arbitration," was selected as a finalist in the 2020 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference research paper competition. 

At UMass Law, Professor Hasday will teach Civil Procedure I & II and Health Law.

Visiting Professor of Law
Visiting Professor of Law Lisa Owens will teach Business Organizations and the Community Development Clinic at UMass Law. She has lectured at Columbia University and served as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School.

Visiting Professor of Law Lisa Owens brings a strong range of work experience in the public and private sectors

Visiting Professor of Law Lisa Owens earned her undergraduate degree in human rights from the Birmingham-Southern College, her JD from Boston College, an LLM in banking and finance law from Boston University, and a PhD (Sociology, 2020) from Columbia University. 

Most recently, Professor Owens served as a lecturer in sociology at Columbia University, and previously served as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School.  She also served as the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Alabama, a legal intern with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Washington, DC, a legal analyst for the Harvard Management Company, and counsel and director of compliance at Cambridge Square Capital in Boston and Derby Capital Management in Newton, MA.

Professor Owens has a book project underway based on her doctoral dissertation on public housing and homelessness, and she has published scholarship in, among others, Sociological Methodology, Critical Sociology, Social Forces, and TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology.  At UMass Law, Professor Owens will teach Business Organizations and the Community Development Clinic.


Asst. Director, Bar Preparation Programs
In addition to working with the Bar Success Program, Erica Sylvia '15, JD '17 will teach courses in Legal, Academic, and Bar Skills. She completed her undergraduate and law degrees with honors in six years through the fast-track 3+3 program.

Assistant Director of Bar Success Erica Sylvia is an alumna of UMassD and UMass Law

Assistant Director of Bar Success Erica Sylvia earned her undergraduate degree in history from UMass Dartmouth, summa cum laude, and her law degree from UMass Law, magna cum laude, as a 3+3 student.  As a law student, Professor Sylvia served as managing editor of the UMass Law Review, a multi-year Student Bar Association Representative and teaching assistant, and as a Public Interest Law Fellow. 

She is the author of "For His Eyes Only: Why Federal Legislation is Needed to Combat Revenge Porn," 23 UCLA Women's L. J. 101 (2016).  After graduating from law school, Professor Sylvia served for five years as assistant district attorney in the Appellate Division of the Bristol County District Attorney's Office and as an adjunct faculty member at UMass Law, teaching Legal Skills III.  At UMass Law, Professor Sylvia will work closely with law students preparing for bar exams and teach courses in Legal, Academic, and Bar Skills.

“I am thrilled to return to UMass Law and am excited to work with students both in the classroom and as they prepare for the bar exam,” Sylvia said.  “As an alumna of this institution, I am passionate about the law school’s mission of pursuing justice. In my role, I hope to foster a supportive environment to ensure that the students and alumni have the confidence and skills they need to pass the bar and succeed in their desired fields.”