2014 Symposium

The year 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark civil rights decisionBrown v. Board of Education,and the Law Review at the University of La Verne College of Law has chosen to honor the occasion by sponsoring a symposium, “Brown v. Board of Education at 60: Cause Lawyering for a New Generation“.

The symposium is slated to occur on February 282014 and will explore many of the issues that cause lawyering has always raised, as well as many of the new questions that have arisen over time: What does it mean to be a “cause lawyer? What are some of the most effective advocacy techniques that cause lawyers deploy outside of the context of litigation? How do cause lawyers affiliated with formal advocacy groups account for individual attorneys who – without regard for the organizations‘ strategic preferences – file claims on behalf of their clients who possess common legal interests? The symposium proposes to examine these and other questions by investigating cause lawyering in four specific settings: voting rightsimmigrationreproductive rightsand LGBT equality.


Introduction and Welcome: Dean Gilbert Holmes, University of La Verne College of Law
9:00a – 9:15a

Cause Lawyering in the Immigration Setting
9:15a – 10:30a

During this conversation, panelists will discuss many of the issues that have arisen in the context of advocating on behalf of immigrants who are attempting to legalize their status in the United States, or who are attempting to avoid discrimination by virtue of their national origin. Some of the issues under consideration will include the strategies and tactics that have been employed in the effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform; the obstacles that prevent its achievement (e.g., Arizona’s S.B.1070 law); the identification of priorities when crafting legal campaigns on behalf of immigrants, as well as a discussion of the manner in which cause lawyers advance their claims through interaction with political activists; the role that cause lawyers can play in encouraging a proper understanding of the relationship between immigration reform and national security; and other issues, as well.

Moderator: Marisa Cianciarulo, Professor of Law – Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law


  • Sameer Ashar, Clinical Professor of Law – University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • Jorge Castillo, Staff Attorney – Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Robin Goldfaden, Senior Attorney – Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Hiroshi Motomura, Professor of Law – University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

10:30a – 10:45a

Voting Rights: Challenges and Opportunities for Cause Lawyers in the 21st Century
10:45a – 12:00p

Voting rights have become a flashpoint for debate in recent years as state legislatures have passed voter ID laws, implemented laws that restricted voting times, and passed other measures that arguably hampered voters’ abilities to exercise the franchise.  The stakes have become even higher in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder. This panel will explore some of the background issues that are at stake in this debate, and it will pay particular attention to the roles that advocates have played as they try to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected and that the integrity of the process is maintained.

Moderator:  Charles Doskow, Professor of Law – University of La Verne College of Law


  • Anita S. Earls, Executive Director – Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Dr. John Eastman, Professor of Law – Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
  • Justin Levitt, Associate Professor of Law – Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Lunch and Keynote Address
12:00p – 1:15p

Keynote Speaker: F. Michael Higginbotham – University of Baltimore School of Law

F. Michael Higginbotham is a renowned law professor, author and international political consultant. A civil rights, human rights and constitutional legal expert, he has appeared in media worldwide.

Waging War in the Battle Over Reproductive Rights
1:15p – 2:30p

The debate over reproductive rights has been fought in numerous arenas since the seminal decision in Roe v. Wade, and cause lawyers have played a crucial role in shaping it.  During this panel, we will look closely at the role that movement and countermovement lawyers have played in the effort to expand, protect, or narrow access to abortion, in particular.  We will also look at the role that non-legal actors have played while working hand-in-hand with cause lawyers in order to implement legislative and policy solutions designed to increase reproductive choices for women.

Moderator: Tiffany Graham, Professor of Law – University of La Verne College of Law


  • Clarissa Woo Hermosillo, Director of Policy Advocacy – ACLU and ACLU Foundation of Southern California
  • David Meyer, Professor of Sociology – University of California, Irvine
  • Beth Parker, Chief Legal Counsel – Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
  • Lynn D. Wardle, Professor of Law – Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School

2:30p – 2:45p

The Movement for LGBT Equality: Lawyers, Activists, and Setting Priorities
2:45p – 4:15p

How did cause lawyers shape the fight for LGBT equality, and how did the desire for marriage equality, in particular, come to dominate the agenda?  The movement for LGBT equality has been extraordinarily successful in recent years, securing victories on multiple fronts — Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed, employment non-discrimination protections exist in almost half of the states, federal regulations prohibit housing discrimination, and other gains have been achieved, as well — but crucially, we have reached a point where almost forty percent of the U.S. population lives in a marriage equality state.  Further, the possibility of a Supreme Court decision invalidating the remaining marriage prohibitions in the reasonably near future is no longer a fantasy.  How did we get here?  What role did legal strategists play in shaping the direction, goals, and priorities for the movement?  Even in the face of such pressure, what kinds of strategies have legal actors put in place in order to achieve progress in other areas of significance to the LGBT community?  How do we account for the frameworks of resistance that these actors have encountered, for instance, in the current debate over California’s “School Success and Opportunity Act,” also known as the “Transgender Bathroom Bill”?  We will discuss these and other questions during this panel.

Moderator: Stacey Sobel, Associate Professor of Law – Western State University College of Law


  • Emily Doskow, Esq. – Emily Doskow Attorney and Mediator
  • Diane Klein, Professor of Law – University of La Verne College of Law
  • Gwendolyn Leachman, Sears Fellow – The Williams Institute
  • Ilona Turner, Legal Director – Transgender Law Center

Concluding Remarks: Dean Gilbert Holmes, University of La Verne College of Law
4:15p – 4:30p

Speaker biographies are located here.

2013 Symposium

In 2013, the La Verne Law Review hosted it’s second annual symposium on §1983 Civil Rights.  The event was held on February 7 and 8 at the Ayers Hotel in Ontario, CA, and featured many expert guest speakers including Erwin Chemerinsky.  The region’s leading civil rights experts, practitioners and law enforcement officials discussed §1983 litigation, including basic concepts, strategies, defenses and developing law.  The event was so successful, that the College of Law opted to adopt the theme for their main College of Law Symposium in 2014.

2012 Symposium

Early in 2012, the La Verne Law Review hosted a very successful symposium on §1983 Civil Rights.  The event was held in Ontario, CA, and featured many expert guest speakers including Erwin Chemerinsky.

2011 Symposium

Join some of the nation’s leading academic experts on Alternative Dispute Resolution who will be gathered at the University of La Verne College of Law for the 2011 Symposium titled, “Forecasting the Future: Cutting Edge Issues in ADR.” In coordination with the live event, the University of La Verne Law Review is publishing a Symposium Issue on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and will be accepting submissions through July 31, 2011. Date: January 28 and 29, 2011 in Southern California.

2010 Symposium

February 19-20, 2010

Some of the nation’s leading academic experts on immigration law and policy gathered at the University of La Verne College of Law to grapple with a wide range of cutting edge immigration issues. In coordination with the live event, the University of La Verne Law Review published a Symposium Issue on Immigration Law in May 2010. Please see the Publications tab at the left and you will find all the Symposium Issue.

Keynote Speaker

Hiroshi Motomura, Professor of Law
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law What Is “Comprehensive Immigration Reform?” Hiroshi Motomura is the Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law at UCLA. He is an influential scholar and teacher of immigration law whose publications include two immigration-related casebooks and Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States, a comprehensive study of U.S. immigration policy. The Symposium, “En/Countering Stereotypes,” was approved by the State Bar of California for both general MCLE credit and Legal Specialty Education in the area of Immigration Law. CLE credit could have been obtained in the following specialty areas: Immigrant Visas (1.25 hours) Removal/Deportation/Exclusion Procedures (1.5 hours) Administrative and Judicial Review (1.25 hours) For more information about University of La Verne Law Review’s Symposiums or to find out information to attend, please send an email to lawrevsymposium@laverne.edu.