What drew you to the law?
I am a first generation college graduate, who grew up on a farm in a Catalan village. I chose to study law at the age of 17 when I enrolled in university in Barcelona, where law is an undergraduate degree. I didn’t have any role models who were lawyers, not even Ally McBeal. At that point, I thought studying law offered me a helpful structure to understand politics and the relationships between government and society. But from the first minute in a law school classroom, I loved law for slightly different reasons. Law gives you a very versatile skill set and an understanding of many aspects of human lives and can help shape the society we live in.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy helping students deepen their understanding of issues they care about, and especially issues they did not know they care about before entering law school. It is a great feeling of achievement when a student goes from puzzlement about a legal issue to complete eagerness when discussing it in class. Every student brings different professional and life experiences to the classroom, and I enjoy learning with my students and exploring legal issues together. Studying the law is a joint and collaborative process, and teaching allows me to share this experience on a daily basis. Teaching also allows me to get to know my students and hopefully build relationships not only as a teacher but as a mentor.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
I hope my students not only learn the legal rules and doctrines but also learn to assess legal problems holistically. Without the story behind a case, the understanding of the case will not be complete. I would like them to consider the economic, social and moral consequences beyond the case or legal rule we are studying. I believe that property, water and natural resources law are particularly well suited for this because they are very connected to communities and places.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
One could say I have been my whole adult life in academia because I studied for 11 years and then I served as Teaching Fellow, a position that combines research, teaching, and mentoring , at Stanford Law School. However, during my studies, I have interned in a law firm’s antitrust and tax departments, worked in an environmental enforcement agency in Colombia, and advised companies on road safety regulations.
What are you passionate about outside the law?
I have two, probably not unrelated, hobbies: food and exercise. I enjoy grocery shopping (I worked in supermarket for many years while I was a student, and I find stores and food products fascinating), researching about agriculture, dishes and culinary traditions, cooking up a storm, and eating what I have cooked or going out to any type of restaurant. When I’m not in my office or kitchen, you’ll find me running outside or at the gym fitness classes with the weirdest names.
What are your research interests?
My research interests are mostly in property and water law. My research is driven by real world problems and I bring mostly, but not only, an economic analysis approach to my scholarship.