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Michael S. Vastine

Associate Professor of Law & Director of Immigration Clinic

B.M., Oberlin Conservatory of Music
M.M., Temple University
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center

Professor Vastine joined the faculty of the St. Thomas University School of Law in 2004. His practice and research focus on immigration litigation, particularly regarding the deportation consequences of criminal convictions and the due process rights of immigrants.

Professor Vastine holds a B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, an M.M. from Temple University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

He is a member of the Florida Bar Committee on Law Related Education and is co-chair of the Membership and Outreach Committee, American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Clinical Section. In 2011 and 2012, he was elected to the AILA South Florida Chapter Board of Directors. He presently is co-chair of the AILA South Florida Chapter Litigation Committee, is chair of the Law Student Division and serves on the DHS Chief Counsel Liaison Committee. Additionally, he served on the South Florida Chapter Ad Hoc Amicus Committee responsible for drafting AILA’s briefs in post-Padilla v. Kentucky litigation in the Florida appellate courts regarding the rights of immigrant criminal defendants to receive effective assistance of counsel. He also co-represents the lead case on the subject, Hernandez v. State, which he argued at the Florida Supreme Court in May 2012.

Professor Vastine is a frequent presenter at local, state, regional and national meetings and conferences of immigration practitioners and clinical legal educators. He has authored the following publications:
  • Emerging Issue Analysis: When, if ever, are non-remunerative drug transfers not aggravated felonies? A review and preview of Moncrieffe v. Holder, LexisNexis, 2012 Emerging Issues 6441 (June 15, 2012)
  • Emerging Issue Analysis: Kawashima v. Holder, What Tax Crimes Can Get an Alien Deported?, LexisNexis, 2012 Emerging Issues 6273 (March 29, 2012).
  • All’s Well That Ends Well: A Discussion Of Defenses To Charges Of Removability Relating To Florida Drug Offenses, 2006 – Present, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, 17-8 Bender's Immigr. Bull. 1 (April 15, 2012)
  • Looking on darkness which the blind do see: An analysis of the Sixth Amendment rights of immigrants and the application of Padilla v. Kentucky in the Florida Courts, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, 17 Bender's Immigr. Bull. 356 (Mar. 15, 2012).
  • From Bristol, to Hollywood, to a Land Far, Far Away: Considering the Immigration Consequences of Statutory Rape, 7 Rutgers J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 289 (2010)
  • Good Things Come to Those Who Wait? Reconsidering Indeterminate and Indefinite Detention as Tools in U.S. Immigration Policy, 5 Intercultural Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 125 (2010)
  • Give me your tired, your poor… and your convicted? Teaching “Justice” to Law Students by Defending Criminal Immigrants in Removal Proceedings, University of Maryland Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, 10 RRGC 341 (2010)
  • Is Your Client Prejudiced? Litigating Ineffective-Assistance-of-Counsel Claims in Immigration Matters Arising in the Eleventh Circuit, University of Miami Law Review, 62 U. Miami L. Rev. 1063 (2008)
  • Being Careful What You Wish For: Divisible Statutes – Identifying a Non-Deportable Solution to a Non-Citizen’s Criminal Problem, Campbell University Law Review, 29 Campbell L. Rev. 203 (2007)

Courses taught: Immigration Clinic; Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation; Immigration and Human Rights Litigation (Summer in Spain 2011)