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Juan Rocha

College Of Law
Faculty Assoc
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 9520

Juan Rocha is an attorney in private practice.  He represents defendants in federal district court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the immigration court.  He is a graduate of Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies.  He earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where he had the privilege to be a student of then-Professor Barack Obama.  He received his law degree from the U.C.L.A. School of Law.  Mr. Rocha has written extensively on the intersection of criminal and immigration law.  His articles have been published by the University of Chicago Policy Review; the Harvard Kennedy School Journal of Hispanic Policy; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL); and The Federal Bar Association, among other places.  He has also appeared on PBS and Spanish radio to discuss immigration law and policy.  Mr. Rocha will be teaching a class titled, "Southwest Border Crimes," at the Arizona State University School of Law in the fall of 2019.  The class places a special emphasis on how non-US citizens are affected by the criminal and immigration systems.  His area of interest is the right to court-appointed immigration counsel in criminal court for non-US citizens. Mr. Rocha has been a presenter at various conferences and universities.  He recently gave the keynote address at San Diego State University on how DACA is rooted in criminal law. Mr. Rocha has traveled extensively.  He's lived in Bangkok, Thailand and has traveled throughout Southeast Asia, South America, and Europe. Mr. Rocha also serves on the ASU Hispanic Alumni Association where he holds the position of Vice-Chair of Scholar Relations.  


BS, Arizona State University

MPP, the University of Chicago

JD, UCLA School of Law 


Research Interests

Mr. Rocha's work has included a special emphasis on the right to court-appointed immigration counsel in criminal court. But he has also researched how the noncitizens have different rights to bail depending on whether they are before the criminal or immigration court.  He has also written about the different standards a noncitizen must show to show to assert a Fourth Amendment violation, depending on whether the noncitizen finds herself criminal or immigration proceedings.


Selected Publications:

he Guiding Hand of Counsel (Harvard Kennedy School Journal of Hispanic Policy

Found in the USA (University of Chicago Policy Review)

Operation Streamline and the Criminal Justice System (The Arizona Attorney Magazine)

Immigration Reform; Who's in and Who's Out (New America Media)

Why Arizona Remains a Red State (New America Media)

Exile (American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA))

Ruling on SB 1070 Offers some Protection to Undocummented Immigrants (Tucson Daily Star)



Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
LAW 791Seminar

Selected Presentations:

Keynote speaker San Diego State University conference on "crimmigration"

Guest speaker at the University of Arizona School of Law

Presenter at the Maricopa County Public Defender seminar defending noncitizens in criminal court

Interviewed by The New York Times regarding Motel 6 racially profiling Hispanic customers

Interviewed on La Campesina radio discussing the federal government's "Operation Streamline"

Moderator featuring former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales




Honors / Awards

2017 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year awarded by the Florence Project

2015 Top Pro Bono Attorney in Arizona awared by the State Bar of Arizona 

Professional Associations

ASU Hispanic Alumni Association

State Bar of Arizona

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)


Work History

Adjunct Faculty, Arizona Western College

Adjunct Faculty, ASU School of Transborder Studies

Assistant Federal Public Defender



Head Coach of the Westwood High School mock trial team

Vice-Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Phoenix Alumni Chapter

Established the Nina Johnston Scholarship at Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona

Member of Los Abogados



Rocha Law Firm PC


Arizona State University Hispanic Alumni Association 

Industry Positions

Rocha Law Firm PC



Pro Bono

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP)