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Four Indian Americans Among New Members Elected to the American Law Institute

Four Indian Americans Among New Members Elected to the American Law Institute

  • Roopali Hardin, Anil Kalhan, Peter Karanjia and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, are selected based on professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law.

Four Indian Americans are among new members elected to the American Law Institute to bring their expertise to its work of clarifying the law through Restatements, Principles, and Model Codes. Those elected include eminent judges, lawyers, and law professors, “selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law.” 

Indian American members include Roopali Hardin Desai of Phoenix, Arizona; Anil Kalhan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Peter Karanjia of Washington, D.C., and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia of University Park, Pennsylvania.

In a statement, ALI President David F. Levi noted how this “challenging” year reminded us that He said he was “proud to be a part of an organization that brings together people to discuss challenging topics in a courteous, informed, collegial, and productive way in an effort to find rules and solutions that work for everyone.”

Roopali H. Desai is a partner in Coppersmith Brockelman’s litigation group, focusing her practice in the areas of complex civil litigation, political law, and civil appeals. Her practice involves representing clients at all stages of litigation in state and federal court, in front of administrative agencies, and in arbitration proceedings.

A leading election lawyer in Arizona, Desai’s political law practice involves advising clients on all aspects of election law including campaign finance compliance, disclosure and reporting requirements, and bringing and defending election challenges. She is especially known for her experience representing initiative, referendum, and recall campaigns, and has served as legal counsel for numerous successful statewide and local measures. She was instrumental in the construction and passage of Prop 207, which legalized the adult use of cannabis in the State of Arizona. She has a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona, an MPH from UA’s Zuckerman College of Public Health and a J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law, J.D.

Anil Kalhan is a Professor of Law at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. He is a visiting professor of Law at Yale Law School and an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law. From 2015 to 2018, he served as chair of the New York City Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee, and since 2008 he also has been an affiliated faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania South Asia Center. His scholarly and teaching interests lie in the areas of immigration law, privacy and surveillance, U.S. and comparative constitutional law, and international human rights law. His scholarship has appeared in several publications. 

In 2018, Kalhan was selected by the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty to receive its Chris Kando Iijima Teacher and Mentor Award. He was the recipient of a SAJA Journalism Award from the South Asian Journalists Association in 2008 and was again a finalist for SAJA Journalism Awards in 2011 and 2013. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.P.P.M. from the Yale School of Management, and an A.B. from Brown University. Before attending law school, he worked for Cable News Network, PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and the New York City Department of Transportation.

Peter Karanjia is chair of DLA Piper’s Administrative Law Appellate practice. A former Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission (where he oversaw all litigation on behalf of the agency, including major cases in the U.S. Supreme Court) and Special Counsel to the Solicitor General of New York, Peter has litigated more than 100 appeals. He has extensive experience in administrative law, First Amendment law, and communications and privacy law. 

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Law360 has repeatedly selected Karanjia as an MVP of the Year for his “successes in high-stakes litigation.” holds law degrees from Harvard Law School, where he studied as a Kennedy Scholar, and Oxford University, from which he graduated with First Class Honors. He is actively involved in pro bono and civic work, including regularly filing amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of members of Congress, bar associations, and government officials. He serves as chairman of the national board of the American Constitution Society.

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; the Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar; and Clinical Professor of Law at Penn State Law in University Park. Her research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and the intersections of race, national security, and immigration. She is the author of two award-winning books with New York University Press: “Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases” (2015) and “Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump” She is also the author of “Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Solutions,” with Steve Yale-Loehr and Lenni Benson. Her work has been published in numerous law journals.  

At Penn State Law, Wadhia teaches doctrinal courses in immigration and asylum and refugee law. She is also the founder/director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (CIRC). Before joining Penn State, Wadhia was deputy director for legal affairs at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C., where she provided legal and policy expertise on multiple legislative efforts, including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, comprehensive immigration reform, immigration enforcement, and immigration policy post 9-11. Wadhia has also been an associate with the immigration law firm, Maggio Kattar of P.C. in Washington, D.C., where she represented individuals and families in the asylum, deportation, family, and employment-based immigration.

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