David Thronson, a visiting professor at Michigan Law, is the Alan S. Zekelman Professor of International Human Rights Law and the director of the Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children at the Michigan State University College of Law. He previously served twice as MSU Law’s associate dean for academic affairs and twice as MSU Law’s associate dean experiential education. His research focuses on the intersection of family law and immigration law, in particular on the impact of immigration law on children.
Thronson taught mathematics and science in Nepal as a Peace Corps volunteer. He completed a master's degree at Teachers College, Columbia University and served as a teacher and administrator in three public high schools in New York City.
He was a Skadden Fellow at The Door's Legal Services Center in New York City, where he provided direct legal services to at-risk young people primarily in the areas of immigration, housing, public benefits, and family law. He then worked as a Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law, litigating cases involving a wide range of issues including the scope of federal habeas jurisdiction to review immigration matters, the application of the Convention Against Torture, the constitutional adequacy of educational opportunities provided to children in urban school districts in New Jersey, and discrimination in New Jersey State Police hiring practices.
From 1999 to 2002, Thronson taught in the Lawyering Program of the New York University School of Law and also taught courses in immigration law, public international law, and international human rights at Seton Hall University School of Law and Hofstra University School of Law. He subsequently served as professor and associate dean for clinical studies at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Thronson has taught immigration law as a visiting professor at Michigan Law since 2017 and was a visiting professor at the University of Iowa College of Law in 2020 and the University of Miami in 2023.
Thronson is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers. In 2021, the American Immigration Lawyers Association selected him to receive its Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award and the MSU College of Law honored him with its Donald F. Campbell Outstanding Teaching Award. Beginning in 2024, he will serve a two-year term as co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers.