La Raza Law Journal
Boalt Hall School of Law
UC Berkeley

La Raza Law Journal

About | Subscriptions | Submissions | LRLJ Board | Symposium | Past Issues | Links


The Journal hosts symposia, colloquia, and a speaker series to bring together students, professors, practitioners, and judges with activists and other community members to discuss current issues affecting the Latina/o community.

By organizing events for the production of knowledge, we create opportunities to learn about pressing issues and create spaces in which to transform our legal education—not merely to supplement it—but to actually enable us to become effective advocates for social justice in the U.S. and human liberation throughout the world.


"Majority/Minority State: Turning Power in Numbers into Power at the Polls in 2008"

Save the date:
February 22, 2008
Booth Auditorium, Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley
With Keynote address by political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the La Cucaracha comic strip. 

A strategy–focused and skills–based symposium aimed at answering the following questions:

  • Now that California is a "majority-minority state, how can communities of color realize their potential electoral power?
  • How can lawyers, advocates, and activists in California's communities of color work to increase access to the electoral process and strategically build political influence?
  • How can the issues that impact communities of color be framed to build connections between minorities rather than emphasize divisions?

When and Where?
February 22, 2008 at Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley


  • State electoral politics, particularly the referendum process, has been used in the past fifteen years to weaken people of color's access to political power and public institutions.
  • In light of the upcoming election, this symposium is aimed at developing strategies to overcome low voter turnout in communities of color and to tackle obstacles to coalition building among these communities.
  • The symposium will also include workshops, training participants to become poll observers and legal observers and to understand electoral strategy, equipping them with some of the skills necessary to protect and enhance our communities' democratic voices.

This symposium is sponsored by Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, Asian American Law Journal, Berkeley Journal of African American Law and Policy, Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, the Earl Warren Institute on Race Ethnicity and Diversity, and the Equal Justice Society.

To register, please send your name, email, address, phone number, and school or employer to

Flyer thumbnail Flyer thumbnail

Click on the images to enlarge.


Past Journal symposia include:

  1. After May Day: What Next for Immigration Reform (March 17, 2007)
  2. Overturning Prop. 209: California in a State of Crisis (April 6, 2006)
  3. The New Face of California: The Great Central Valley (November 3-5, 2005)
  4. Making Movement: Communities of Color and New Models of Organizing Labor (April 8, 2005)
  5. Our Pueblo: Defendiendo Nuestros Derechos / Defending Our Rights (October 23, 2004)
  6. Rekindling the Spirit of Brown v. Board of Education: A Call to Action (November 13-14, 2003)
  7. First Annual Conference on Coalitions, Coalitions at the Crossroads: Access to Justice (April 12-13, 2003)
  8. Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representation (October 26-28, 2001)
  9. The Changing Face of Labor: Critical Labor, Immigration, and Employment Issues in the New Global Economy (February 23, 2001)
  10. Running the Race: Latino Political Power in the New Millennium (March 4, 2000)
  11. Our Kids in Crisis: Latino Youth and the Juvenile Justice System (April 17, 1999)
  12. Educating California: All Our Children (March 14, 1998)


Colloquia provide opportunities for Boalt professors, local Latina/o attorneys, and other specialists to share their expertise with the Boalt Hall community. Together we learn about generally unknown sociolegal subjects and thereby gain insight into the actual effects of law and policy.

Stay tuned!  In early 2008, we will host a colloquium on school desegregation in California.


Past colloquia are listed and described below:

On Wednesday March 9, 2005, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30, the Journal hosted Ejected from Our Homes: Depression Era Deportation of Citizens, which recovered the hidden history of the "repatriation" of people who were summarily judged to be "Mexican," and therefore presumably not U.S. citizens, in the years following the Great Depression. Professor Francisco Balderrama, co-author of A Decade of Betrayal, the only book-length study of this subject; Steve Reyes, the MALDEF staff attorney, who worked on the Castañeda class action lawsuit that sought reparations for the deportees; and Layla Razavi, legislative aide to State Senator Joseph Dunn elucidated the historical, legal, and policy aspects of this little known but critical part of American history. We are grateful to them for sharing their knowledge and thereby enabling us to become better advocates for our communities and those others that are targeted by the state for disruption and deportation in contravention of the due process of law.

On Tuesday November 16, 2004 the Journal co-hosted (with the Asian Law Journal), Thirty Years of Lau v. Nichols: A Panel Discussion on Bilingual Education and the Law. Panelists included Boalt professors Rachel Moran and Steve Sugarman, as well as Boalt alumna, Deborah Escobedo. California MCLE credits were available through the Office of Alumni Relations & Development.

In the Spring 2004 semester, the Journal organized two well-attended colloquia. The first, Mendez v. Westminster: 1946 - A  California Look at Brown v. Board of Education, was co-sponsored by the Center for Social Justice and featured a California school desegregation case that preceded Brown v. Board of Education by eight years. The panel featured two Boalt professors, Angela Harris and Goodwin Liu; an eminent historian, Charles Wollenberg; and a Boalt alumnus (and past president of the California La Raza Lawyers Association), Christopher Arriola.

The second colloquium that semester, Race and American Law: Locating Latina/os in the Black/White Paradigm, juxtaposed Mendez with other cases, like Hernandez v. Texas, the 50 year old case that directly precedes Brown and which found Mexicans and Mexican Americans to be racially White but extended Fourteenth Amendment equal protection doctrine to them on the basis of fact-specific findings of discrimination against them as a group. Panelists included Boalt professor Ian F. Haney López, Mary Louise Frampton, director of the Center for Social Justice, and Professor Alex Saragoza of the department of Ethnic Studies.


We are also interested in organizing the latest instance of our ongoing lunchtime speaker series.

On Monday, October 22, 2007, we co-sponsored with the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice a Ruth Chance lecture entitled, You live WHERE?!?: Exciting Challenges Living and Working in Rural California, featuring Boalt Hall alumna Alegría De La Cruz, directing attorney of California Rural Legal Assistance's Migrant Farmworker Project.

On Thursday, September 29, 2007, we co-sponsored, with La Raza Law Students Association and the Boalt Hall Women's Association, a lecture by Mónica Ramirez of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project.

In the Fall 2005 semester, we held one installment of our speaker series. Some twenty-five students listened to Visiting Professor Ángel Oquendo explain the LatCrit movement in critical legal scholarship as well as his role as a member of the Board of Directors of LatCrit, Inc. and the theme of the 2005 South-North Exchange on Law, Theory & Culture, of which he is a project coordinator.

In the Spring 2004 semester, our speaker series included two lectures by Boalt professors. Norman Spaulding elucidated the historical development of jurisprudence in the twentieth century, and Angela Harris discussed Critical Race Theory and the emergence of Latina & Latino Critical Legal ("LatCrit") Theory. Both lectures were open to the public and very well attended by Boalt students.


Although the struggle of Latinas/os and other racialized minority groups in the United States remains fierce, the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal remains dedicated to producing knowledge that illuminates contemporary social conditions and educates el pueblo so that together we may abolish every possibility of oppression.

¡Viva La Raza!