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Dreyfous lecturer tackles immigration under Trump March 20

March 13, 2017


Dean Kevin Johnson of UC Davis School of Law is set for Tulane Law School’s Dreyfous Lecture March 20.

Kevin R. Johnson has been writing about U.S. immigration law and policy for decades. But his expertise might be more timely today than ever as the Trump administration upends the landscape for migrants, refugees and undocumented workers and families.

Johnson, who is dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the UC Davis School of Law, is set to discuss “Immigration and Civil Rights in the Trump Administration” March 20 at Tulane University Law School’s Dreyfous Lecture on Civil Liberties and Human Rights.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is set for 4:30 p.m. in the Wendell H. Gauthier Moot Court Room 110 of John Giffen Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret St.

Johnson’s work on immigration and civil rights includes legal scholarship and contributions to popular media outlets. His book How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man's Search for Identity, published in 1999, was nominated for the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His 2011 book, Immigration Law and the U.S.-Mexico Border, was named best reference book in the Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Awards. 

Johnson blogs at ImmigrationProf and is a regular contributor on immigration law for SCOTUSblog. He is quoted frequently by national and international publications, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He is president of the board of Legal Services of Northern California and has been a board member since 1996. He also served on the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund from 2006-11.

Johnson became law dean at UC Davis in 2008 and has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. He received the law school’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993.

A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review, he received an AB in economics from UC Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. After law school, he clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as an attorney at the international law firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named associate dean for academic affairs in 1998. 

Johnson’s many honors include the Association of American Law Schools Minority Groups Section Clyde Ferguson Award (2004); the Hispanic National Bar Association Law Professor of the Year award (2006); the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholar of the Year award (2008); the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) Romero Vive Award (2012); and the Centro Legal de la Raza Outstanding Achievements in the Law Award (2015). In 2003, he was elected to the American Law Institute.

The George Abel and Mathilde Schwab Dreyfous Lecture on Civil Liberties and Human Rights, established in 1965, honors the founder of the Louisiana Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and his wife, both of whom worked to end segregation and discrimination against African-Americans.

Past lecturers have included some of the nation’s most distinguished legal minds, such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Solicitor General Charles Fried and Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder.


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