After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993, Leti Volpp clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson '62 of the Northern District of California, and then worked as a public interest lawyer for several years. Volpp served as a Skadden Fellow at Equal Rights Advocates and the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, both in San Francisco; as a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C.; and as a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project in New York City.
She began teaching at the American University, Washington College of Law in 1998 and visited at UCLA School of Law in 2004-05. She joined the Boalt faculty in 2005.
Volpp's numerous honors include two Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships, a MacArthur Foundation Individual Research and Writing Grant, and the Association of American Law Schools Minority Section Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Award. She has delivered many public lectures, including the James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale Law School, the Korematsu Lecture at New York University Law School, and the Barbara Aronstein Black Lecture at Columbia Law School.
Volpp is a well-known scholar in law and the humanities. She writes about citizenship, migration, culture and identity. Her most recent publications include “The Indigenous As Alien” in the UC Irvine Law Review (2015), “Civility and the Undocumented Alien” in Civility, Legality, and Justice in America (Austin Sarat, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2014), “The Boston Bombers" in Fordham Law Review (2014), "Imaginings of Space in Immigration Law" in Law, Culture and the Humanities (2012), the edited symposium issue "Denaturalizing Citizenship: A Symposium on Linda Bosniak's The Citizen and the Alien and Ayelet Shachar's The Birthright Lottery" in Issues in Legal Scholarship (2011), and "Framing Cultural Difference: Immigrant Women and Discourses of Tradition" in differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies (2011). She is the editor of Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders (with Mary Dudziak) (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). She is also the author of "The Culture of Citizenship" in Theoretical Inquiries in Law (2007), "The Citizen and the Terrorist" in UCLA Law Review (2002), "Feminism versus Multiculturalism" in the Columbia Law Review (2001), and many other articles.