Luz E. Herrera

Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Experiential Education

Luz Herrera

“Our democratic ideals require more justice warriors. We are fortunate to train them.”

Get to Know Luz E. Herrera

What drew you to the law?

I grew up in an immigrant community that did not experience the law as an instrument of protection, particularly in the workplace. What drew me to the law was an interest in learning the rules of our society in an effort to help create a more equal playing field and help provide greater opportunity for my family and the community that surrounded us.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy mentoring and coaching students. I appreciate the ability to learn new aspects of the law since every question they ask views the law from a different lens. Teaching allows me to be a perpetual student. There is never a dull moment.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I hope students will learn to build good relationships with their classmates, to be fearless advocates for justice, and to always have the courage to grow.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

Immediately after law school I worked in the corporate real estate department of a large international law firm based in San Francisco for two years. I then started my own law practice to represent modest means clients and started a nonprofit organization to support self-represented litigants and solo practitioners.

What are you passionate about outside the law?

Outside of the law and my family, I am passionate about travelling and eating good food. I love to experience new places and learn about different cultures. I find that traveling renews me and helps foster my gratitude.

What are your research interests?

I am interested in the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation, and social justice particularly as it relates to forming the professional identity of lawyers.

Publications

Link to my publications.

Presentations

  • "Law & Entrepreneurship: Supporting Community Law Practices," Southeast Association of Law Schools Conference, Amelia Island, FL, August 6, 2016
  • "Locating Social Justice along the Continuum of Legal Services Delivery, Law & Society Conference," New Orleans, LA, June 2016
  • "The Role of Social Justice in 2.0 Incubator Development," Incubator Conference, Kansas City, MO, April 2016
  • "Examining the Value of Clinical Education: Thinking Beyond Cost," AALS Annual Conference, New York, NY, January 2016
  • "How Clinical Pedagogy Can Enhance Experiential Learning in Doctrinal Courses," Southeast Association of Law Schools Conference, Boca Raton, FL, August 2015
  • "Exploring New Possibilities through Technology," AALS Clinical Conference, Rancho Mirage, CA, May 2015
  • "Changing Ideas about Lawyers’ Professional Role," Incubator Conference, California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA, February 27, 2015
  • "Pro- Bono & Public Service Opportunities," Association of American Law Schools 2015 Annual Conference, Washington, D.C, January 4, 2015
  • "Toolkit for the Next 50," Berkeley Law School, Berkeley, CA, October 17, 2014
  • "Whiteness as Property in Practice: Attorneys of Color in White Spaces," 7th Annual Critical Race Studies Symposium, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, October 4, 2014
  • "Legal Access Job Corps/Models for Helping New Lawyers," National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), Boston, Massachusetts, August 7, 2014
  • "Framing the Issues," Touro Law Center, Incubator Conference, Central Islip, NY April 3, 2014
  • "Representing Modest Means Clients," Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, CA, April 11, 2014
  • "Incubating Community Law Practices: A Model for Lawyer Training and Access to Justice," The 2013 Sho Sato Conference, Legal Education Within and Without the Academy: Meeting New Challenges in Japan and the United States, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, December 17, 2013
  • "Incubating New Practices to Meet Legal Needs," American Bar Association Equal Justice Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, May 10, 2013
  • "Innovative Approaches to Representing Modest Means Clients," American Bar Association Equal Justice Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, May 9, 2013
  • "Emprendurismo Legal y Desarrollo Comunitario," Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 1, 2013
  • "Programmatic Structures in Clinical Education," American Association of Law Schools, Law Clinic Directors Workshop, San Juan, Puerto, April 28, 2013
  • "New Lawyer Services to Attract and Retain Members," National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), February 8, 2013
  • "Reinventing the Practice of Law," American Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Conference, Seattle, Washington, October 11, 2012
  • "The Role of Law Schools in Supporting Solo and Small Firm Lawyers to Address Access to Justice," Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Conference, Baltimore, MD, October 6, 2012
  • "Pro Bono Publico: Latinos Leading in Public Interest and Civil Rights," Harvard Law School Latino Alumni Reunion, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 28, 2012
  • "Educating Social Justice Lawyers," Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS), Amelia Island, Florida, July 29, 2012
  • "The Importance of Developing a Low Bono Agenda," Ira C. Rothgerber Jr. Conference, Colorado University Denver School of Public Affairs, Denver, Colorado, November 4, 2011
  • "Understanding the Benefits of Unbundling Legal Services," ABA Solo & Small Firm Conference, Denver, Colorado, October 21, 2011
  • "Forces from Outside the Academy: An Access to Justice Perspective," AALS Conference on the Future of the Law School Curriculum, Seattle, Washington, June 11, 2011
  • "Exploring Alternative Models of Collaboration with the Private Bar," Equal Justice Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 5, 2011
  • "Beyond Civil Gideon," Society of American Law Teacher’s Robert Cover Workshop, San Francisco, CA, January 7, 2011
  • "Clinics as Vehicles for Securing and Protecting Human Rights within the United States," Association of American Law Schools, Baltimore, Maryland, May 7, 2010
  • "The Importance of Incubators for New Practitioners," American Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Conference, Los Angeles, California, October 16, 2009
  • "Challenges Facing New Lawyers and Proactive Solutions," Access to Justice/Bar Leaders Conference, Yakima, Washington, May 29, 2009
  • "Innovative Community Models: Creating New Paradigm," Law for America Symposium, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Utah, April 17, 2009
  • "Rethinking Private Attorney Involvement," Access to Justice Symposium, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California, February 6, 2009
  • "Lawyer Incubator Workshop, Justice Education in a Community Context," Ateneo Law School, Manila, Philippines, December 7, 2008
  • "The Role of Solo and Small Firm Practitioners, Rethinking Pro Bono," UCLA, Los Angeles, California, October 3, 2008
  • "Immigrant Entrepreneurship, Language Access, and Community Legal Assistance," National Latina/o Law Student Association Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, October 13, 2007
  • "Private Pro and Low Bono – Advocating for the Public Interest in Private Practice," UNLV School of Law, Las Vegas, NV, March 8, 2006

Expertise

  • Experiential Learning
  • Clinical Legal Education
  • Law Firm Incubators
  • Professional Responsibility

Academic Experience

  • Professor and Associate Dean for Experiential Education
    Texas A&M University School of Law (​Sept. 2016-present)
  • Assistant Dean for Clinical Education, Experiential Learning, and Public Service
    University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (2014-2016)
  • Visiting Clinical Professor
    University of California, Irvine School of Law (​2013-2014)
  • Assistant Professor
    Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2008-2014)
  • Visiting Professor
    Chapman Law School (​2007-​2008)
  • Sr. Clinical Fellow
    Harvard Law School (​2006-​2007)

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School
    • Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Editorial Board
  • A.B. in Political Science, Stanford University

Awards / Honors

  • Hispanic National Bar Foundation, Academic Leadership Award, July 2015
  • Notre Dame Law School’s Graciela Olivarez Award, April 2014
  • San Diego Young Influential, March 2014
  • Lewis and Clark Award for Innovation and Dedication, February 2014
  • Diverse Emerging Scholars Award, January 2013
  • San Diego Daily Transcript, Top Attorney Finalist, July 2012
  • La Opinion Mujeres Destacadas Award, March 2011
  • Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award, Mexican American Bar Association, February 2011
  • Named by the ABA Journal as one of the top 25 Legal Rebel, September 2009
  • Top 100 Attorneys in California Recognition by the Daily Journal, September2009
  • Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County, Guardian de Justicia Award, March 2009
  • Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Francisca Flores Community Service Award, August 2008
  • Gary Bellow Public Service Award, Harvard Law School, April 2005

Other Professional Activities

  • AALS Clinical Conference Planning Committee, 2016-2017
  • ABA Special Committee on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, Special Advisor
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • California State Bar Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform II, Member (2014)
  • Clinical Legal Education Association, Member
  • College of Law Practice Management, Fellow
  • Community Lawyers, Inc., Founder
  • Sergeant Shriver Civil Counsel Act Implementation Committee, Member
  • Society of American Law Teachers, Member