Zaida C. Rivera

Zaida C. Rivera

Visiting Assistant Professor of Law

 Sullivan Hall 120


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  • Immigration Law
  • Immigrant Justice Clinic


  • BA, Gonzaga University, International Relations and Spanish, 2005
  • JD, University of Idaho College of Law, 2012


Professor Zaida Carolina Rivera is the proud daughter of hardworking Mexican immigrants and an immigrant herself. Professor Rivera serves as the Visiting Assistant Professor and the Director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC) at the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic. In her most recent position, she was the Clinical Fellow and the Director of the Immigration Clinic at Gonzaga Law School. As clinical faculty, Professor Rivera teaches the seminar component of the IJC clinic and supervises law students representing clients in various immigration matters. Professor Rivera previously co-supervised students who traveled to Nogales to work with migrants seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border.

Professor Rivera has been practicing immigration law for over ten years, primarily representing clients in immigration proceedings and humanitarian relief. She has worked for various immigration legal services providers in Washington, New York, and New Jersey, including with the NW Immigrant Rights Project, Kids in Need of Defense, and Seton Hall Law School’s Immigration Clinic.

Professor Rivera is passionate about access to justice initiatives and enjoys coordinating and volunteering for legal clinics. She also enjoys participating in law school pipeline programs to encourage underrepresented students to pursue a legal education. Si se puede!

Professor Rivera is a member of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, the ATJ Delivery Systems’ Undocumented Communities Subcommittee, and a fellow for the Washington Leadership Institute Class of 2023. In her free time Professor Rivera enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.


Megan J. Ballard & Zaida C. Rivera, New Community Sponsorships for Humanitarian Immigrants: Guidance on Washington’s Practice of Law and Immigration Services Fraud Prevention Rules, 46 U.L. Rev. SUpra 15 (2023)