Harini Raghupathi

Harini P. Raghupathi

Practice Areas





Harini Raghupathi has fifteen years of experience specializing in appeals and complex motions. She has represented hundreds of clients in a variety of administrative, trial, and appellate courts. Harini graduated from Stanford University with honors and distinction and from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She began her legal career clerking for the Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Harini then received a Skadden Fellowship—described by legal blogger David Lat as “the public-interest world’s version of Supreme Court clerkships or Rhodes Scholarship”—to work at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

For the next decade-plus, Harini served as an appellate attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. During her time as a public defender, Harini obtained multiple victories on behalf of her clients. She helped successfully oppose the petition for certiorari the government filed in the Supreme Court in United States v. Cano. In doing so, Harini preserved the favorable ruling she obtained in United States v. Cano, 934 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir. 2019), where the court found that officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they searched her client’s cell phone at the border without any reasonable expectation of finding digital contraband. Some of Harini’s other victories include: United States v. Zaragoza-Moreira, 780 F.3d 971 (9th Cir. 2015); United States v. Lopez-Chavez, 757 F.3d 1033 (9th Cir. 2014); United States v. Hernandez-Meza 720 F.3d 760 (9th Cir. 2013); and United States v. Leal-Del Carmen, 697 F.3d 1136 (9th Cir. 2012). In 2012, The Recorder named Harini an “Attorney of the Year” for her groundbreaking win in Leal-Del Carmen.

Harini is a member of the Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and serves as a mentor for The Appellate Project, a non-profit organization partnering law students with appellate practitioners to foster an equitable and inclusive appellate community. Harini is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has lived in San Diego since 2010. In her free time, Harini enjoys exercising with kettlebells, hiking with her dog, and reading for pleasure.