The LatCrit Portfolio of Projects: 2012-2013

A summary of group projects & an invitation to join us!

This LatCrit Portfolio of Projects briefly describes our current projects to help keep everyone informed and encourage interested persons to join us in sustaining and enhancing these and other group projects. The Portfolio is organized around three sets of substantive initiatives each focused on different aspects of law, scholarship and education. In addition, the Portfolio includes past projects or initiatives. This overlapping categories are: (1) Academic Events and Community Projects that hold conferences and the like throughout the year; (2) Student Scholarships and Educational Programs that provide opportunities in critical education to students interested in decolonization; (3) Scholarly Publications and Informational Resources, which include our nearly twenty symposia, a peer-reviewed journal and other substantive materials; and (4) Past Projects that LatCrit has initiated, either independently or in partnership with others. The presentation of the projects in the LatCrit Portfolio set forth below follows this organizational scheme for easy review and access to LatCrit resources. If you are interested in becoming involved with any of the following programs, please email us at . Thanks!

Academic Events and Community Projects

The Biennial LatCrit Conference [formerly the Annual LatCrit Conferences (ALC)] began to take shape after the Colloquium organized by the Law Professor Section of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) in 1995 and held in San Juan Puerto Rico. In 2010 the LatCrit board decided to organize the conference on a biennial basis and held its last annual meeting in 2011. The next biennial conference will take place in October 2013, in Chicago Illinois. Now in their eighteenth year, the biennial conferences are designed to spur the critical, cross-disciplinary study of Latinas/os as a multiply diverse and transnational social group, and in relationship to other social groups subordinated socially and/or legally. The Biennial Conferences (BLC) are organized by a Project Team, and membership is open to anyone. The Biennial Call for Papers, Panels and Participation is issued each spring.

The Jerome McCristal Culp, Jr., Memorial LatCrit Lecture (JCL) honors founding Board Member Jerome Culp, who passed away in 2003, and is designed to ensure a substantive continuation of his work in the areas of law, policy and socioeconomic justice. Each lecturer is selected and invited by a committee. 

The Annual LatCrit Planning Retreat (APR) was inaugurated in conjunction with LatCrit VI to provide a space for short, medium and long term planning. Each year since, these planning Retreats have met in small plenary sessions immediately after the Annual Conference at a nearby site to develop specific projects or proposals. Like the Annual Conference, the Annual Planning Retreat is open to all interested folks (invitations and notices are included in various mailings soliciting interest and participation). Persons interested in programmatic development should plan to join us at these Retreats because much of the community-building and institution-building work is accomplished in these small-scale sessions. 

The Board-and-Friends Retreat (BFR) is an occasional gathering of board members and project team participants designed to supplement the APR discussions and decisions. The BFR gatherings began in 2003, in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and have met four times in recent years to help organize the various LatCrit projects into a streamlined and synergistic "portfolio." In addition, the BFR agendas have helped to facilitate the institution-building work necessary to collective self-governance. The BFR meetings take place when board and project team members determine that the annual APR meetings require additional follow-up. The last BFR took place in July 2007 at the University of Denver.

The Annual LatCrit-SALT Faculty Development Workshop (FDW) is a one-day event conducted in association with the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) to support progressive junior faculty in the teaching, scholarship and service aspects of professional success. The Workshop meets the day before the Annual LatCrit Conference in plenary sessions that track these three areas of concern (information is included in various mailings throughout the year soliciting Workshop participation). In addition, this Workshop seeks to foster scholarship in critical outsider jurisprudence, including LatCrit theory, among new and junior faculty. Finally, this Workshop aims to cultivate a core group of "next generation" scholars interested in the continuation of this and similar projects over the years. LatCrit and SALT are collaborating to expand this Workshop into a more comprehensive year-round program featuring a series of events tailored for new faculty. 

The LatCrit-at-AALS Community Suite and Suite Events (LCS) takes place during the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) each January, and serves multiple community-building and informational purposes. The Community Suite and Suite Events include receptions and meetings to develop projects like the Annual Conferences, the Critical Global Classroom, the Student Scholar Program and other community activities described in this Informational CD. The LatCrit-at-AALS Community Suite also provides a focal point for community gatherings, both formal and informal, that help to strengthen lines of communication. Everyone is encouraged to bring scholarly reprints and informational materials for on-site pick up at this community Space. 

The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and Law (SNX) is a newer project designed to bring together critical theorists from various disciplines and regions of the hemisphere (and beyond) to discuss problems in the application of theory to current social problems and policy issues. The basic concept is to create a venue focused on south-north relations, and on issues that affect or constitute south-north polarities, to strengthen LatCrit theory and praxis in hemispheric terms. This annual encounter convened for the first time in mid-December 2003, and has met annually since then at the campus of the IAUPR School of Law in San Juan, Puerto Rico to focus critical attention on various substantive themes ranging from constitutional reform to the rights of indigenous people. Since then, the SNX has met five times at various locations, including Brazil and Colombia. The 10th SNX will convene May 16-18, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico and and the 11th SNX will re-convene in Colombia in 2014.

The LatCrit Colloquium on International and Comparative Law (ICC) has met seven times since 1995 in locations ranging from Miami to Malaga to Santiago de Chile to Buenos Aires and Cape Town. This periodic, rotating Colloquium aims to foster transnational and interdisciplinary interaction among LatCrit theorists in the United States and elsewhere with scholars, activists and policymakers at the sites where the Colloquium meets. As with the Annual Conferences, the Call for Papers, Panels and Participation for this periodic Colloquium is posted on the LatCrit website, and the program proceedings subsequently are published in the form of law review symposia. For more information, please contact Professor Francisco Valdes at 

The LatCrit NGO (NGO) project was inaugurated several years ago as part of LatCrit participation in the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR). The basic idea behind the NGO is to establish a formal vehicle through which we may interject LatCritical analyses into policymaking at the international level in venues such as the United Nations, the World Bank and similar institutions that have created procedures for this kind of nongovernmental intervention. The substance of our interventions is drawn from our scholarly work and the publications achieved through our various other projects. Earlier this year, the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited the LatCrit NGO for consultative status. For more information please contact Professor Beth Lyon at

The Grant Writing and Fundraising project is an initiative intended to increase the resources available for LatCrit projects by (1) developing direct-to-membership fundraising strategies, (2) improving LatCrit promotional materials, such as brochures and the web site, for use in presenting the organization to potential donors, and (3) writing and submitting grant applications to appropriate funding organizations. 

Study Space Series (SSS) is a series of intensive workshops, held at diverse locations around the world, to acquire a deeper understanding of the legal, policy and human challenges posed by the global growth of megacities. The Study Space Series intends, at various times and in different places, to provide a vehicle for progressive scholars and graduate students from varied disciplines and backgrounds to study, learn and seek to understand experientially this trend in all of its implications - for identity and self-determination, for participatory democracy, for equality and social justice, for human health, for the environment, for livable cities and manageable land use, and so on.

Scholarly Publications and Information Resources

The Biennial LatCrit Symposium (BLS) is designed to memorialize the proceedings of the Annual Conference, to create a literature on Latinas/os and the law, and to support outsider legal journals. This annual publication is supplemented with other symposia that are "free-standing" or independent of a "live" event, or that are based on other LatCrit events - such as the Colloquium on International and Comparative Law. To date, twenty-one LatCrit symposia are in print or in progress, and they all are linked to the LatCrit website for easy global access. For a listing of these symposia, see the List of Publications on this website. 

The LatCrit Research Toolkit contains two complementary Thematic and Keyword indices designed to aid researchers in the navigation of a growing body of knowledge spanning almost two decades. Scholars are invited to examine the growing LatCrit literature.

CLAVE (klá-ve), is the LatCrit academic journal published in hard copy as well as online. The hard-copy issue is published by the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico(IAUPR) School of Law, and is a peer-reviewed periodical with two issues per year edited by a LatCrit Board of Editors and Contributing Editors in conjunction with a Student Editorial Board. The online version is managed by the same editorial board. The hard-copy Journal is administered through the IAUPR School of Law. The online issue is managed through the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. The online version of Clave features both collective works, such as symposia based on various LatCrit programs or events, as well as individual articles submitted for publication year-round. 

The LatCrit Primers as well as the LatCrit Flyer and the LatCrit Informational Brochure (both available in Spanish and English), are designed to help folks interested in LatCrit theory to become acquainted with our works, projects, plans and hopes. All three were created during the past several years in response to requests for informational resources. In addition, the LatCrit Informational CD, inaugurated in 2003, supplements these three informational resources with a comprehensive compilation of publications, project materials, and archival documents. The Primer is updated every two-or-three symposia, and presents a sampling of the symposia publications. It currently features three volumes spanning most of the symposia published to date. The Flyer, Informational Brochure and the Informational CD are updated annually.

During 2007-08, LatCrit scholars established an Electronic Syllabi Bank (ESB) focused on courses related to critical outsider jurisprudence, such as courses on law and race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability and the like. This effort is designed to recognize that courses such as these have become increasingly included in the formal law school curriculum during the past decade or so, as well as to recognize that this progress is tentative and precarious. As new generations of teachers/scholars enter the academy, the LatCrit community aims to build on existing progress through this resource in various ways. For new or junior teachers, we hope this Syllabi Bank makes it easier to develop courses focused on topics like these without having to "re-invent" the wheel of course design. For established or veteran teachers, we hope this resource will make it easier for them to continue improving their courses from year to year throughout their careers. And for students or other interested persons, we hope the syllabi presented in this project can point the way to texts or other sources of knowledge that individuals can access for various reasons in different ways. Therefore, this electronic Syllabi Bank is designed to be used as a teaching resource, as well as a way of ensuring that these kinds of courses continue to be a vital part of the formal law school curriculum. To do so, we update the Syllabi Bank once annually, but welcome additions year-round. 

Responding to repeated requests for historical and background information, the LatCrit community inaugurated an Oral Histories Project (OHP) during the 12th Annual LatCrit Conference, held in Miami in October 2007. The basic purpose of this project is to begin recording impressions, recollections and aspirations regarding the history, present status and future prospects of LatCrit theory specifically, and of critical outsider jurisprudence more generally. In addition to recording and preserving diverse perspectives while they are still relatively fresh, we hope this kind of historical and substantive information also will be helpful as a research or pedagogical tool to teachers, students and researchers in law and other disciplines studying areas germane to critical (legal) theory and outsider jurisprudence. To do so, these interviews take many forms, including informal individual ruminations, small-group conversations, one-on-one interviews, etc. The material is posted, unedited, to the LatCrit website to make it accessible for these multiple purposes. From time to time, we conduct additional interviews to accumulate an informational resource with diverse viewpoints that will grow organically with time, and are helpful to different folks with different needs or objectives.

The LatCrit Monograph Series (LMS) is designed to supplement the Primer, the Flyer and the Brochure with a series of substantive yet short essays on various aspects of LatCrit theory written by different LatCritters posted to our website. The idea is to provide various perspectives on "LatCrit" so that interested folks from other disciplines or world regions may read, download and use them to get a diverse sense of our communities and agendas. The Monograph Series was begun in 2002 as part of our ongoing efforts to reach toward the Global South. Interested folks should contact us about authoring additional Monographs on various aspects of LatCrit theory, praxis and community. 

The LatCrit E-Letter and Annual Calendar of Key Dates are designed to streamline year-round communications by creating an electronic newsletter emailed once per semester to the community at large providing timely information on the various events or projects that we have underway. The LatCrit E-Letter also updates the Annual Calendar of Key Dates for ongoing plans, programs or projects. 

Student Scholarships and Educational Programs

The LatCrit Student Scholar Program (SSP) offers students pursuing intellectual agendas in race, ethnicity, and the law the chance to join the LatCrit community. In order to be considered for the program, applicants are asked to submit a portfolio of materials, including a previously unpublished paper, a statement of purpose, and a curriculum vita. A panel of distinguished LatCrit faculty from around the United States and elsewhere examines these student portfolios and selects three to five students to be designated LatCrit Student Scholars. LatCrit Student Scholars are invited to present their work at the annual LatCrit conference, receive financial support toward their conference-related travel and hotel expenses, and are mentored by established LatCrit scholars working within their field of interest. The program is open to students writing in English in any accredited degree program around the world.

The Critical Global Classroom (CGC) is a unique study-abroad program in law, policy and social justice activism offered in partnership with a consortium of universities around the world. CGC graduates earn up to eight academic credits through a diversified menu of academic activities. The CGC curriculum also includes the LatCrit Colloquium on International and Comparative Law, enabling close interaction among students and scholars through the Colloquium-related activities. Student registration for the CGC begins each fall in mid October: please look for our materials and encourage your serious social justice-minded students to enroll.

Past/Inactive Projects 

The LatCrit Seminar Series (LCS) is a transportable and adjustable "mini-course" on LatCrit theory and critical outsider jurisprudence, conducted in Spanish and/or English that travels throughout the Americas and beyond to be taught at variable sites or institutions upon the request of sponsoring organizations or schools. The basic idea of this "moveable seminar" is to highlight the development and current status of critical outsider jurisprudence within and beyond the United States as a means of encouraging scholars in other regions or schools of thought to engage "OutCrit" work. Beginning in summer 2005, this mini-course also will be offered annually for academic credit by the IAUPR School of Law, and will be open to enrollment by students from any accredited university in the world. 

The Introduction to LatCrit Workshop (ILW) acknowledges the many LatCrit-affiliated professors whom Latina/o law students and their allies have invited to deliver panels, workshops and keynote speeches at the annual National Latina/o Law Student Conference ("NLLSA Conference"), the largest gathering of Latina/o law students in the U.S. The ILW builds this important relationship critically by institutionalizing a three-part design informed by past experiences at the NLLSA Conference. Integrating the diversity of LatCrit-affiliated professors" interests with the desire to introduce LatCrit with some consistency, the ILW starts with a substantive overview of LatCrit theory as an expression of outsider jurisprudence. The second part then applies LatCrit theory to current issues of law and policy to demonstrate concretely the difference that a LatCritical approach can make in our perception of sociolegal problems and possible solutions. The final part then demonstrates resources that students can use in their ongoing learning and individual law-related research projects. By showing how to access easily the materials contained in the LatCrit Informational CD and, this part also highlights LatCrit"s other student-oriented projects, such at the Cyber Classroom Project, Student Scholar Program and Critical Global Classroom. 

The P-20 Educational Project ("the Pipeline Project") is an outgrowth of LatCrit"s concern about the lack of racial diversity in the legal profession. LatCrit"s focus on this issue is, and has been, theoretical as scholars systematically analyze the barriers for entry into the profession as well as practical as faculty institutionalize more inclusive practices to recruit, hire, mentor, tenure and promote faculty from under-represented communities. The doctrines, policies and activities that fall within the rubric of affirmative action have been aimed at increasing the number of students who qualify for admission to professional and graduate studies. This strategy has, however, largely neglected the more pressing problem facing communities of color, namely the high drop out rates and low achievement of students from middle school through the undergraduate years. Pipeline projects aim to inter-connect the now fragmented systems of educational institutions to stop the leakage of students, improve graduation rates and increase the numbers of students of color in post-graduate studies. 

In connection with the Primer, LatCrit theorists established in 1998 the Cyber Classroom Project (CCP), which connects geographically, dispersed students to likeminded peers and faculty to create substantive educational opportunities not provided by the formal curriculum of their "home" institutions via an electronic discussion list. This discussion list allows students to discuss LatCrit texts from the Primer or the symposia, and presents a sampling of symposia publications with their authors and other scholars, as well as with students at other schools or institutions. Like the Critical Global Classroom, this Cyber Classroom Project aims to provide access to critical legal education to today"s students.

The Community Development Externship Network (CDE) is a project that was initially funded through LatCrit and has since become independent from this organization. The CDE is an experiential learning project designed to provide legal assistance to local communities or activists working on social justice efforts in rural and urban sites both across the United States and across the Americas. The ten-week summer externships focus on securing material remedies to social injustices suffered both by groups and individuals, including land reclamation projects and other kinds of reparations-oriented efforts. Before beginning their externships, the externs receive scholarships and travel stipends to attend a CDE orientation, and during their externships they live in the communities within which work.

The LatCrit Chicana/o Studies Project (CSP) was originally designed to highlight Chicana/o communities and issues in LatCrit theory, and to help build connections between established discourses in Chicana/o studies and LatCrit theory. This project included a series of scholarly meetings between LatCrit and Chicana/os studies scholars to map out areas of convergence and mutual interest. Scholars of all disciplines and perspectives were encouraged to participate in this project. 

Thanks for your interest in LatCrit theory, praxis and community. We hope you will become involved in the project(s) of your choice. We also welcome proposals for new projects that are consistent with our principles and goals, and invite interested parties to submit proposals for new initiatives that we might undertake collectively. To do so, write to us via email, and start making your advance plans to join us at one or more of our upcoming programs!!