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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology Hillary Mellinger

Assistant Professor
Wilson-Short, 115 WSU Pullman





Ph.D., Justice, Law & Criminology, 2020, American University
M.A., Political Science, 2015, George Mason University
B.A., International Relations / Modern Languages (Double Major), 2009, Beloit College


Hillary Mellinger, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University (Pullman campus).  Prior to joining the department in Fall 2021, Dr. Mellinger taught at George Washington University, George Mason University, and American University.

Before pursuing her Ph.D., Dr. Mellinger worked as a Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative at the Tahirih Justice Center, a national nonprofit organization that supports immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence through a combination of legal representation, social services and public policy.

Dr. Mellinger’s research focuses upon asylum policy, the criminalization of migration, the immigration legal profession, and interpretation challenges within the criminal justice system and immigration system. In particular, Dr. Mellinger focuses on the intersections of the criminal justice system and immigration system. She applies a mixed-methods approach to her research and uses qualitative methods (such as interviews and focus groups) as well as quantitative methods (such as regressions, survey analysis, and matching techniques).

Courses Taught

Research Methods for Criminal Justice; Multicultural Issues in Criminal Justice

Research Projects

Dr. Mellinger is currently working on projects in the following areas: the criminalization of migration, interpretation challenges within the immigration and criminal justice systems, and the immigration legal profession (focusing on best practices, as well as self-reported burnout and secondary trauma).

Recent Publications

Hemmens, C., Raza, A., & Mellinger, H. (2022). Recent Legal Developments: Criminal Justice Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 2021 Term. Criminal Justice Review. [issue and page numbers TBD]. 

Harris, L.M., & Mellinger, H. (Forthcoming 2021). Asylum Attorney Burnout and Secondary Trauma.  Wake Forest Law Review, 56.

Lowrey-Kinberg, B., Barak, M. & Mellinger, H. (2020). Perceptions of Justice among Guatemalan-Mayans and Latinos of South Florida: A Call for Further Study of Procedural Justice in Minority Communities. Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order, 47(1-2), 171-193.

Lowrey-Kinberg, B., Mellinger, H., & Kearns, E.M. (2020). How Social Dominance Orientation Shapes Perceptions of Police. Policing: An International Journal, 43(4), 607-624

Hamlin, R. & Mellinger, H. (2018). The Role of Courts and Legal Norms. In A. Weinar, S. Bounjour & L. Zhyznomirska (Eds.), Routledge Handbook on the Politics of Migration in Europe (pp. 99-108). New York, NY