Home » Rebellious Lawyering Conference on “Race” at UC Hastings Law 2014 – Program (*)

Rebellious Lawyering Conference on “Race” at UC Hastings Law 2014 – Program (*)



(*) This Program is subject to modest modifications and, closer to the conference date, we will distribute the final updated Program.



Registration Link: 

Registration Questionnaire and Registration Fee Payment



Conference Location:

University of California, Hastings College of the Law

San Francisco, CA


Conference Dates:

November 13-15, 2014


Conference Sponsors:

Rebellious Lawyering Institute

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

Pegasus Legal Services for Children


Conference Materials:

For all those registered, a comprehensive reader is available on-line, including a wide range of interdisciplinary and popular materials, some of which will be assigned in advance of the Conference. Please find the link and password to the reading materials below:

Link:      http://libguides.law.ucla.edu/rebelliouslawyering

Password (case-sensitive):     reblaw2014SF


MCLE Credits Available:

MCLE Credits: The ILRC is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.  Rebellious Lawyering Conference will receive a total of 6.25 hours of CLE credit for November 14, 2014 and 5 hours for November 15.  Please Note: 1.25 of those hours will count towards Ethics CLE and 1.25 hours will count towards Recognition and Elimination of Racial Bias in the Legal Profession and Society.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

I.     Evening Welcome Reception (6 – 8 p.m.)

We will host a “Welcome Reception” at UC Hastings, in Room [TBD]




Friday, November 14, 2014:

I.    Race Discrimination in 2014 (8:30 – 9:45 a.m.)


J. Bernard Alexander, Litigator, Alexander Krakow & Glick LLP 

Martha L. Gomez, Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund 

Kevin Smith, San Francisco Fire Department Firefighter

In the color-blind world so many insist we have already basically achieved, in the post-Obama and post-race years, what exactly does race discrimination look and sound and feel like? In 2014, how do those who are the target of a racist departmental and citywide “culture” – and those lawyers who represent them – challenge baked-in practices and policies? How do they unearth, label, and topple the techniques through which racism thrives (lying (“never happened”), normalization (“business as usual”), denial (“didn’t discriminate”))? How do firefighters confront race discrimination within the daily life of the San Francisco Fire Department? How do law enforcement officers and their lawyers mount a successful employment discrimination lawsuit like Reyes v. City of Westminster?


II.     Break (9:45 – 10 a.m.)


III.    Race, War on Drugs, Mass Incarceration (10 – 11:15 a.m.)


Daniel Abrahamson, Director of Legal Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance 

Deborah Peterson Small, Executive Director, Break the Chains 

Theresa Zhen, Skadden Fellow, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, Los Angeles, CA

Since the late 1970s, the War on Drugs and the War on Crime has disproportionately targeted low-income, of color, and immigrant communities. Those living in these communities are far more likely to be stopped, seized, arrested, prosecuted, incarcerated, and then upon release, forced to live with prohibitions and stigmas all too often unnoticed and unexamined. Even when prohibitions and stigmas gain labels (“collateral consequences,” to name only one), they remain incredibly difficult to abolish. What successes can we celebrate against the War on Drugs and War on Crime? How can we champion radically effective reentry that fits within the larger necessity of immediately ending mass incarceration as we have come to know it?


IV.     Lunch (11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.)


V.     Science and Race (1 – 2:15 p.m.)


Jerry Kang, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Osagie K. Obasogie, Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of Law

Rather than treating race as something we already fully understand, we should do far more to question what it is and how it works. Some have done just that, yielding powerful and provocative insights about explicit and implicit racism. We now have evidence that blind people see race, if in ways that conflict with our conventional accounts of how race works. And ten years of research demonstrates, for all but the most obtuse, that implicit bias is pervasive, strong, related to but not the same as explicit bias, and predictive of behavior in real-world circumstances. What have we learned – and what can we learn – from the sciences about the theoretical, legal, and social operations of race and racism?

VI.     Break (2:15 – 2:30 p.m.)


VII.     Racial and Racist Immigration Practices and Policies (2:30 – 3:45 p.m.)


Edyael Casaperalta, Internet Rights Fellow, Public Knowledge

Jenny Horne, Senior Attorney, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County 

Tsui Yee, Partner, Guerrero Yee LLP

We remain in the midst of one of the ugliest “racist xenophobic cycles” in United States history. Like every earlier cycle, this is not a Democratic or Republican thing. With roots tracing back to Pete Wilson’s endorsement of and the voting majority from both parties’ support for Proposition 187, the current anti-immigrant crusade took hold at the beginning of Bill Clinton’s first term. That crusade has expanded during the terms of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Individuals, families, kinship networks, work crews, and neighborhoods have endured horrifying upheaval. Immigrants and their advocates try to deal with what they face and stabilize lives. But how exactly are they going about doing this?


VIII.     Break (3:45 – 4 p.m.)



IX.     Across Generations – Experiences and Visions of Race (4 – 5:15 p.m.)


Dale Minami, Partner, Minami Tamaki LLP

Wendell Y. Tong, Counsel to the Firm, Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo PC

A. Mina Tran, Founder, Tran Law Group

Experiences of race and visions of race change over time – or at least many believe. That does not mean racism necessarily declines, much less vanishes. Indeed racism may grow more virulent and obviously mutates. How much has today’s racism changed from the racism of 1990s? The 1970s? The 1950s? Does the answer depend upon what group we focus on? What part of the country or the state or the city we live in? What job sector we work in? How do today’s visions of racial progress compare with those prominently espoused in past decades and generations?




Saturday, November 15, 2014:

I.     Race-Conscious Practice – at Legal Services of Northern California and Beyond (9 – 10:15 a.m.)


William Kennedy, Managing Attorney, Legal Services of Northern California

Andrea Matsuoka, Attorney, Legal Services of Northern California

Mona Tawatao, Senior Litigator, Western Center on Law and Poverty

See also this link for Bill Kennedy and Mona Tawatao’s work as faculty members of the Racial Justice Training Institute

See also this link for the Race Equity Project of the Legal Services of Northern California

Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC), a much revered organization, has made race-consciousness central to its practice and its mission. For over a decade, especially through its Race Equity Project, LSNC’s program-wide approach has made race pivotal to its understanding and framing of problems, to its strategic and tactical choices, to its collaboration with clients and allies. How have different generations of lawyers experienced this race-conscious practice? How have relationships changed, if at all, with client communities, with allies and opponents, with other legal services offices? How have formal trainings about race-conscious practice offered by LSNC been received?


II.     Break (10:15 – 10:30 a.m.)


III.     From Ferguson to Gaza (10:30 – 11:45 a.m.)


Asli Ü. Bâli, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

George Bisharat,Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

Kim A.Taylor-Thompson, Professor of Clinical Law, New York University School of Law

From the Washington Post to Ebony Magazine to everyday conversations, people have connected events and dynamics in Ferguson to events and dynamics in Gaza, and to events and dynamics in other places still. What is the relationship between race, militarized policing, and sharing governance? In Ferguson? In Gaza? Elsewhere? What do law and politics – intermingled, as always – offer as candid portrayals of the current situations? Of how best to diagnose? Of what to do?


IV.     Lunch (11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.)


V.     Racial Challenges Facing Community Organizations (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)


Kara Bobroff, Founding Principal, Native American Community Academy

Eric Cohen, Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

M. Stacey Hawver, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

How do community organizations anticipate, plan for, and respond to the challenges of race? In their organizational design? In their vision of practice? In their approach to fundraising? To hiring and firing? To training? To evaluations? How do organizations deal with divisions and tensions between and within those racial groups they serve? Divisions and tensions defined by gender, by sexual identity, by age, by immigration status, by language, by culture? By ideology? What do the successes and failures of the past several decades tell us about how we should think and feel about these challenges?


VI.     Break (2:30 – 2:35 p.m. – ONLY 5 Minutes)


VII.     People of Color Leading Educational Institutions (2:45 – 4 p.m.)


Sally Dickson,Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Advisor to the President on Campus Life, Stanford University

Shauna Marshall,Emerita Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

C. Keith Wingate, Emeritus Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

For many years, were we to examine people of color leading educational institutions, we’d likely be talking almost exclusively about the enormous importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. But more now than often seems recognized, women and men of color have assumed pivotal leadership positions at educational institutions of all sorts, including university-wide roles and law school deanships. How does race influence visions of leadership? Relationships with students, staff, faculty, alumni, diverse communities, and the educational institutions they serve? How does race affect admissions policies, curricular content, career counseling? How does race shape perceptions of competence and excellence?


VIII.     CLOSING (4 p.m.)



Conference Organizers:


Edyael Casaperalta

New Venture Fund Internet Rights Fellow

Public Knowledge

Washington, DC

Edyael is an Internet Rights Fellow at Public Knowledge where she focuses on rural telecommunications issues and promoting broadband deployment to rural, low-income, and Native communities. Prior to joining PK, Edyael was a Programs Associate at the Center for Rural Strategies where she directed telecommunications advocacy efforts and launched the Rural Broadband Policy Group, a national coalition of rural groups advocating for increased access to affordable, reliable, and high-speed Internet. She continues to coordinate the RBPG. Edyael received a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and a Bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Edyael Casaperalta at Public Knowledge


Eric Cohen, J.D.

Executive Director

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

San Francisco, CA

Eric is the ILRC’S Executive Director and has been with the ILRC since 1988. For six years while at the ILRC, Eric was a co-supervisor of Stanford Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic. Eric has extensive experience training attorneys and law students. In fact, he has been on the faculty of over 75 CLE trainings. Eric has co-authored several of the ILRC’s manuals and other publications, including Motions to Suppress, Naturalization and U.S Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide, and How to Successfully Appeal Naturalization Denials. For nearly 20 years Eric has served as a liaison between community groups and the CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services). He helped develop ILRC’s community model for effectively processing naturalization applications and works with community organizers and others on voter education and civic engagement campaigns.

Eric Cohen at Immigrant Legal Resource Center


Tara Ford, J.D.

Co-Founder and Attorney

Pegasus Legal Services for Children

Albuquerque, NM

Tara is the Co-Founder of Pegasus Legal Services for Children. She has been involved in children’s legal issues for over twenty years, providing representation to children and their caregivers even while at Stanford Law School. Tara is a frequent speaker at national and state conferences regarding the important role of education in children’s lives; she has often taught as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law and she regularly works with state and community stakeholders to develop policies that support children in New Mexico. In 2009, Tara provided consultation services to the International Medical Corps in Jordan to provide recommendations regarding needs of children living in institutions, either as a result of dependency or delinquency.

Tara Ford at Pegasus Legal Services for Children


Gerald P. López, J.D.

Professor of Law

UCLA School of Law

Gerald P. López is Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, where he is faculty member of the Critical Race Program. He teaches Rebellious Lawyering Clinic, Legal Analysis Workshop, Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, Transforming Legal Education Workshop, Community Outreach, Education, and Organizing Clinic, and Problem-Solving Workshop. López has been one of the nation’s leading theorists about lawyering as problem-solving, developing the “rebellious vision” of progressive practice, not just for lawyers but for every individual and institution engaged in problem-solving work. With diverse collaborators, including his students, he engages regularly in civil rights litigation, diverse work with immigrants, with those incarcerated and living with criminal convictions, with those pursuing economic development projects, and those aiming radically to improve education (including legal education). Before returning to UCLA, López was a Professor of Law at New York University and at Stanford University. He co-founded at Stanford the Lawyering for Social Change Program and at UCLA the Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, among the nation’s first sequenced curricula training future progressive practitioners. At New York University, he founded the Center for Community Problem-Solving in New York City, dedicated to working with low-income, of color, and immigrant communities. And in his early years in San Diego, California, he was a founding partner of Jones, Cazares, Adler, and López, a radical storefront law office. He is the author of Rebellious Lawyering, perhaps the most influential book ever written about progressive law practice and community problem-solving, and many community guides and scholarly articles on race, problem-solving, immigration, legal education, health, financial literacy, workplace justice, legal analysis, and still more. He has been honored with many community, civil rights, and teaching awards.

Gerald P. López at UCLA School of Law


Shauna Marshall, J.D.

Professor of Law and Academic Dean

UC Hastings College of the Law

Shauna Marshall joined the Hastings faculty in 1994 as a Clinical Law Professor. Prior to joining the faculty, she spent 15 years working on behalf of the public interest. She began her career as a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. Five years later, she joined Equal Rights Advocates as a staff attorney working on impact cases, policy initiatives and mobilizing campaigns on behalf of low income women and women of color. She then spent four years in the Stanford and East Palo Alto community, lecturing in the areas of civil rights and community law practice at Stanford Law School and directing the East Palo Alto Community Law Project. She served as Hastings Associate Academic Dean from 2000 – 2002 and became Academic Dean in 2005. Dean Marshall’s favorite part of her job remains teaching and working with students in the public interest concentration. She likes to break up her day with lunches with former students where she learns about the amazing work they do with their Hastings degree. During her free time, Dean Marshall likes to travel with her husband Robert Hirsch. Her favorite destinations are Boston and New York where her daughters now reside.

Shauna I. Marshall at UC Hastings College of the Law 


Wendell Y. Tong, J.D.

Counsel to the Firm

Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo PC

Wendell Y. Tong is Counsel to the Firm with Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo PC, one of New York’s oldest plaintiffs’ personal injury law firms. Her practice areas are toxic torts, products liability, and mass torts. Her clients are working people who have been injured by consumer products that, due to design defects or failure to warn, should never have been sold. She has litigated cases against manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, unreasonably flammable products, and industrial equipment. As part of the plaintiffs’ co-liaison counsel team in the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation, Wendell has represented 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who had not been provided with respiratory protection equipment and subsequently became afflicted with severe injuries. Wendell graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2000 after earning a B.A. from Brown University and M.A. from Columbia University, both in comparative literature (English, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish).

Wendell Y. Tong at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo PC


Additional Organizers of Past Conferences (With Whom We Consult Regularly):


Janese Bechtol, J.D.

Chief, Domestic Violence Section

Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Ms. Bechtol joined the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia in 1998 as a trial attorney in the Domestic Violence Section. For the next five years she represented over 450 domestic violence survivors in obtaining and enforcing civil protection orders against their abusers. She became chief of the section in October 2003 and since then has supervised from three to five attorneys representing domestic violence survivors, one attorney representing Adult Protective Services in guardianship proceedings, and various administrative staff members who support the attorneys and the city’s Domestic Violence Intake Centers. She chairs the committee responsible for management of the intake centers which are comprised of seven public and private agencies, co-chairs the city’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, and continues to maintain a small trial caseload.

Ms. Bechtol graduated with distinction from Cornell University in 1991 and Stanford Law School in 1994. Following law school, she fulfilled a four-year military commitment at the Pentagon as an Assistant General Counsel for the Department of the Army and as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army and later the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Janese Bechtol at Family Court and Domestic Violence Court of DC Superior Court


Kip Bobroff, J.D.

Lead Organizer

Albuquerque Interfaith

Kip is the Lead Organizer with Albuquerque Interfaith. He has devoted his career to public interest Kip is the Lead Organizer with Albuquerque Interfaith, an affiliate of the Industrial  Areas Foundation, the nation’s oldest and largest community organizing network.  He has devoted his career to public interest work and social justice.  Kip graduated from the Lawyering for Social Change program at Stanford Law School and then worked for three years with Navajo families to protect landowner rights.  From 1997-2008, He was a law professor at the University of New Mexico, developing courses on Indian Law, education inequality, and clinical practice.  He and his wife, Michele Pfeiffer, are missing the 2014 conference to see their son Reed performing in the Yale Theater Studies production of The Tempest.

Kip Bobroff at Albuquerque Interfaith


Michelle Fei

Aspiring Midwife

Former Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project

New York, NY

Michelle Fei is currently an aspiring midwife, training as a birth assistant and doula in homebirth settings. Until recently, she served as Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project, where she focused her substantive work on community education and policy initiatives. There, she co-led the statewide campaign that led to the New York suspension in 2012 of a large-scale federal deportation program. Michelle helped launch the Center for Community Problem-Solving at NYU in 2003, where, with the support of an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, she spearheaded a jail and prison reentry project and an immigrant workers’ rights project. She also previously worked at a community-based law firm, representing Central American clients in their immigration cases.

Michelle Fei in the news


Martha L. Gómez, J.D.


Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Martha L. Gómez is a staff attorney at MALDEF. She specializes in employment and civil rights litigation that impacts the Latino community. Her cases include constitutional challenges to anti-immigration laws, and employment challenges to race and national origin discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and wage and hour violations of low-wage earners, among others. Martha earned her law degree from UCLA School of Law in 2010, where she studied in the Critical Race Studies program, served as co-chair of La Raza and as an associate editor to the UCLA Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review. Prior to law school, Martha worked as a high school teacher in the greater Los Angeles area.

Martha L. Gomez at MALDEF


Bill Ong Hing, J.D.

Professor of Law

University of San Francisco School of Law and

UC Davis School of Law

General Counsel for Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Throughout his career, Professor Hing’s pursued social justice through a combination of community work, litigation, and scholarship. He is the author of numerous academic and practice-oriented publications on immigration policy and race relations, including Ethical Borders—NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration (Temple University Press, 2010), Deporting Our Souls-Morality, Values, and Immigration Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Defining America Through Immigration Policy (Temple University Press, 2004), and Making and Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy (Stanford University Press, 1993). His book To Be An American: Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation (NYU Press, 1997) received the award for Outstanding Academic Book by the librarians’ journal Choice. At UC Davis, Hing directed the law school clinical program. He was also co-counsel in the precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court asylum case, INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca (1987). Hing is the founder of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco and continues to volunteer as general counsel for this organization. He serves on the board of the Southeast Asian Refugee Action Center and is president of the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission.

Bill Ong Hing at University of San Francisco School of Law

Bill Ong Hing at UC Davis School of Law 

Bill Ong Hing at Immigrant Legal Resource Center


Teresa Leger de Fernandez

Founder, Leger Law & Strategy

Santa Fe, NM

Teresa Leger de Fernandez founded Leger Law & Strategy, a social justice firm focused on impact litigation, financing, economic development and the public interest. For the last 25 years she has served as General Counsel to several Native American Tribes and their business enterprises. Her work ranges from voting rights litigation to protecting sacred sites to negotiating multi-million dollar leases; it includes the strategic development of the legal, legislative, business, economic and physical infrastructure for tribal sovereigns. After President Clinton appointed her as a White House Fellow; she worked on public/private financing of affordable housing and other community development initiatives as a White House liaison at HUD. She has served as both issuer’s and borrower’s counsel for loan and bond projects ranging from resorts to schools to basic infrastructure. President Obama recently appointed her to the President’s Advisory Council for Historic Preservation. She started her academic career in the first Headstart class in New Mexico, went on to graduate from Yale and receive her J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School.

Leger Law & Strategy, LLC




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