The College of Law's focus on legal issues affecting Hispanics in the Americas builds on Arizona's location across the border from Mexico, a critical mass of faculty who teach and publish on legal issues relating to borders and citizenship, and innovative partnerships with the community. Special curricular offerings include the Immigration Law and Policy Clinic, regular courses on Mexican law, and a partnership with the new North American Center for Transborder Studies at ASU which provides opportunities for students to take interdisciplinary courses at the intersection of law, immigration, and national identity. The law library contains an extensive collection of books relating to legal issues affecting Hispanics in the Americas and features special online resources dedicated to researching Mexican law.
The College of Law gained national attention in recent years when faculty, staff and students collaborated to bring the Hispanic National Bar Association's four-tier mentoring program to the Phoenix area. Last spring, 90 attorneys, law students, and college pre-law students participated in mentoring teams in the program, which also provided programming for dozens of high school and junior high school programs. ASU and the College of Law further show their commitment to the diversity of the student body and the bar through scholarship funds dedicated to the recruitment of students who have shown a significant commitment to serving the Hispanic community.
The College of Law also has a very active Chicano/Latino Law Student Association, whose members participate in Street Law programs and in pro bono programs in the local Hispanic community. The organization hosts a speaker series each year in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. They provide significant academic support for first-year students in the organization, including access to study aids and outlines and special sessions on study skills like the annual Outlining Session led by Professor Calleros. Among the many social and fund-raising activities that they host is an annual fajita cookoff that is wildly popular throughout the law school and professional communities.
Thanks in part to these innovative offerings, the College of Law has been cited by a national business publication as one of the top law schools in the country for Hispanic students. The College of Law is ranked second on Hispanic Business magazine's "2008 Top 10 Law Schools for Hispanic Students," published on Sept. 2, 2008, and posted on the publication's web site, http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/. The magazine, which also rates business, engineering and medical schools, based its selections on reputation, enrollment, faculty, student services, and retention rates.
Key Faculty Members and Administrators
Key faculty members and administrators involved with the Transnational Law in the Americas Program include the following:
Charles Calleros: Professor Calleros is a recent Regional President, Region XIV of the Hispanic National Bar Association, which includes Arizona and Nevada. He has led the innovative effort to bring to the Phoenix area the Hispanic National Bar Association's four-tier mentoring program (which includes attorneys, law students, college students, and high school students). Professor Calleros also annually teaches the opening legal method class for the Hispanic National Bar Foundation Summer Law Camp for Hispanic high school students in Washington, D.C.
Evelyn Cruz: Professor Cruz teaches Immigration Law, Comprehensive Law Practice, and id Director of the Immigration Law & Policy Clinic. The clinic represents unaccompanied minors in immigration removal proceedings. The clinic also incorporates a community outreach component which provides advice and referrals at sessions in Hispanic neighborhoods. Professor Cruz writes articles on Immigration Law, Clinical Education, and Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Currently she is working on multi-national/ multi-disciplinary approaches to solving the plight of unaccompanied immigrant minors. She also has co-authored several Immigration Law manuals used by immigration practitioners and pro-se detainees at Immigration Detention Centers throughout the country. She is fluent in Spanish and is active in the community.
Orde Félix Kittrie: A Mexican-American, Professor Kittrie writes and speaks frequently on legal issues relating to the U.S.-Mexico border and is active in the Latino community. During the 2008-9 academic year, Kittrie taught U.S.-Mexico Business Transactions, a course designed to provide students an introduction to key legal issues relating to U.S.-Mexico business transactions. Also during 2008, Kittrie was a speaker at the annual meetings of both the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association on issues at the intersection of crime and immigration. During 2006, Kittrie served as President of Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Region XIV, representing Arizona and Nevada on the HNBA Board of Governors and overseeing HNBA activities in those states. Kittrie also served for several years as a member of the board of directors of Los Abogados, the Hispanic Bar Association of Arizona. Kittrie was honored by the Chicano Faculty Staff Association of ASU with the Dr. Manuel Servin Faculty Award for 2006. Kittrie was also recently named by Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education magazine as one of the U.S.'s four most notable Hispanic professors of international law.
Shelli Soto: Shelli Soto, a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, is the Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid. Prior to joining the College of Law, Soto worked for three years as director of the Center for Law and Border Studies at the University of Texas-El Paso. The ground-breaking Law School Preparation Institute, a model for early college pipeline programs for ten years, is the cornerstone of that Center's work. Dean Soto co-authored "Affirmative Action Revived: What is the Future for Law Schools?" published in 2004 in the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy. She currently serves on the Minority Affairs Committee and on the PLUS subcommittee for the Law School Admissions Council.
The College of Law offers the following courses that provide interested students with an opportunity to learn about legal issues affecting Hispanics in the Americas:
U.S.-Mexico Business Transactions
Counseling & Negotiation in Spanish
International Business Transactions
International Human Rights
International Trade and Finance
International Trade and Sustainable Development
International Intellectual Property
Comprehensive Law Practice
Health Care Law
Civil Rights Legislation
Voting Rights Law
Ranked one of the top 10 law schools for Hispanics in 2008 & 2009.