About Rana Thabata

Rana Thabata is a first-generation Palestinian American from New Orleans, Louisiana. Rana’s parents emigrated from the West Bank of Palestine to the Westbank of New Orleans in the early 2000s. Like many Muslim-American families, Rana's family faced prejudice in the years after 9/11. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Rana's family stayed behind to look over the neighborhood while the rest of the neighbors evacuated. Their act of service marked the beginning of a new era in their New American story, where Rana's family was welcomed back into the fabric of New Orleans and hailed as heroes.

Rana graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with degrees in political science and economics, becoming the first woman from Loyola New Orleans to win the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2019. Rana then embarked on a master’s in education policy at University College London’s Institute of Education through a Fulbright US-UK Award. Prior to entering law school, Rana worked for two years as a legal assistant at Gupta Wessler LLP, a boutique plaintiff-side appellate law firm renowned for their work in civil rights and supreme court litigation.

At Michigan Law School, Rana brings her experiences from New Orleans’ troubled school system into her work on education and economic equity. Rana was selected to participate in the Michigan Access Program, a social justice training program where she receives training on Michigan’s Clean Slate expungement law and works as a volunteer at local expungement clinics in Ann Arbor. Rana is also a part of MAdvocates, a civil justice student organization on campus, and is one of six students participating in the 1L Advocacy Immigration Clinic.

Rana hopes to work as a civil rights attorney at the forefront of litigation pushing for integrated public school systems, students’ rights, and economic justice so that families like hers in New Orleans don’t face economic or discriminatory hurdles again.


  • JD in Law, University of Michigan
  • BA in Political Science and Economics, Loyola University New Orleans
  • MA in Education Policy, UCL Institute of Education

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