Francisco Valdes

Professor of Law & Dean's Distinguished Scholar

J.S.D. 1994, Stanford Law School
J.S.M. 1991, Stanford Law School
J.D. 1984, University of Florida College of Law
B.A. 1978, University of California at Berkeley

Phone: (305)284-1780
Office: G369

Francisco Valdes, Professor of Law, earned a B.A. in 1978 from the University of California at Berkeley, a J.D. with honors in 1984 from the University of Florida College of Law, and a J.S.M. in 1991 and a J.S.D. in 1994 from Stanford Law School. Between law school and graduate work, he practiced as a civil commercial litigator with Miami and San Francisco law firms, and taught as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate Law School. In 1991, while working on his J.S.D. dissertation for Stanford, he joined the faculty at California Western School of Law in San Diego, receiving tenure in 1994 before joining the University of Miami (UM) faculty in 1996. At UM, he co-founded the law school's Center for Hispanic & Caribbean Legal Studies and its Spain Study-Abroad Summer Program, serving as co-director of each. Since 2008, he also has served as founding Faculty Advisor to the UM Race & Social Justice Law Review. In 2010, Dr. Valdes was designated a Dean's Distinguished Scholar, and appointed founding Director of the UM Junior Faculty Development program to ensure the well-rounded progress of newer faculty.

Dr. Valdes' work focuses on constitutional law and theory, Latina/o legal studies, critical outsider jurisprudence and Queer scholarship. Since 1995, Dr. Valdes has contributed regularly to LatCrit symposia and publications to help elucidate LatCrit approaches to knowledge-production, critical theory, and academic activism. During this time, Dr. Valdes' work on constitutional theory, critical race studies and queer scholarship also has been published in numerous law reviews, other academic journals and various book anthologies, including both specialty and mainstream venues. In 2002, Dr. Valdes edited (with Angela Harris and Jerome Culp) the collection of essays, Crossroads, Histories and Directions: A New Critical Race Theory. Currently, Dr. Valdes is working with other RaceCrit/LatCrit scholars on Social Justice in Local and Global Contects: From Critical Theory to Legal Action, a multi-media theory-practice reader based on critical outsider jurisprudence for West Publishing. He also is developing Law, Academy and Society: Critical Outsider Studies, U.S. Legal Culture And Transnational Justice Agendas, an e-book project, while continuing work on Progresismo Juridico y Teoria Critica, a translation (into Spanish) of his selected publications. He also continues to work actively on varied essays, articles and book chapters relating to law, theory, policy and justice. His publications and works-in-progress are listed below under "Academic Agenda and Publications".

Dr. Valdes served as founding co-chair of LatCrit, Inc., also has served on many professional boards, and is active in many, diverse organizations and journals dedicated to law and social justice, including the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and the Law & Society Association (LSA). He also serves as Founding Editor of Discrimination, Law & Justice, one of the earliest and most successful e-journals of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). In 2002, Dr. Valdes received the Clyde Ferguson Award of the AALS Minority Groups Section. In 2004, he also received the Extraordinary Service Award from the National Conference of the Regional People of Color Scholarship Conferences. In 2006, Dr. Valdes was invited to deliver the Jerome McCristal Culp Memorial Lecture and, more recently, he received in 2010 the SALT Great Teacher Award.

Dr. Valdes regularly speaks at academic conferences and similar events, and teaches in the areas of U.S. constitutional law, outsider jurisprudence, law & popular culture, and comparative law. He also conducts seminars, workshops and mini-courses internationally on these or related topics. Born in La Habana, Cuba, Dr. Valdes now lives in Miami Beach, Florida, with Peppy, his friend (and dog).


LatCrit: From Critical Legal Theory to Academic Activism, De Gruyter, (2021).

Sexual Minorities in Legal Academia: A Retrospection on Community, Action, Remembrance, and Liberation, 66 J. Legal Educ. 510 (2017).

From Law Reform to Lived Justice: Marriage Equality, Personal Praxis, and Queer Normativity in the United States, 26 Tul. J.L. & Sexuality 1 (2017).

Kindling the Programmatic Production of Critical and Outsider Legal Scholarship, 1996-2016, with Sarudzayi Matambanadzo, Sheila Velez, 37 Whittier L. Rev. 439 (2016).

Latcrit Praxis @ XX: Toward Equal Justice in Law, Education and Society, with Tayyab Mahmud, Athena Mutua, 90 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 361 (2015).

Breaking Glass: Identity, Community and Epistemology in Theory, Law and Education, 47 U.C.D. L. Rev. 1065 (2014).

Book Review (reviewing Dale Carpenter, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas), 116 S.W. Hist. Q 429 (2013).

Bringing Society to Law: A Critically Raced Accounting, Exploring the ‘Socio’ of Socio-Legal Studies 251 (2013).

Coming up: New Foundations in LatCrit Theory, Community, and Praxis, 48 Cal. W. L. Rev. 505 (2012).

Critical Race Materialism: Theorizing Justice in the Wake of Global Neoliberalism, with Sumi Cho, 43 Conn. L. Rev. 1513 (2011).

At and Beyond Fifteen: Mapping LatCrit Theory, Community, and Praxis, with Steven Bender, 14 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 397 (2011).

After Law, Comparative Research In Law & Political Economy 45 (2010).

Helm-Burton Act, Oxford Encyclopedia Of Latinos and Latinas in the United States , with Suzanne Oboler, Deena Gonzalez, 281 (2005).

Crossroads, Directions, and a New Critical Race Theory (2002).

Outsider Scholars, Critical Race Theory, and "Outcrit" Perspectivity: Postsubordination Vision as Jurisprudential Method, with Jerome Culp, Angela Harris, Crossroads, Directions, and a New Critical Race Theory 399 (2002).

 Presentations & Awards

"LatCrit Publications Panel: Social Justice in Plural America, From Critical Theory to Legal Action" (May 15, 2013)

"Race, Sex and Sexuality" (March 29, 2013)

Harvard Journal of Law & Gender: Retrospective of "Máscaras, Trenzas, y Greñas" (March 28, 2013)

(July 19, 2013)

"The Goals of the Statement of Good Practices for the Retention for Minority Law Teachers and Students" (January 4, 2013)

(February 22, 2013)

"Understanding Hispanics & Latinas In The New South" (August 4, 2013)

Study Space—"Comparative Legal Systems and Societies," (April 27, 2013)

"Critical Constitutional Studies and Legal Reform: The Case of Equal Protection" (April 11, 2013)

"Critical Approaches to Social Justice Teaching: Materials and Pedagogies" (October 4, 2012)

Phone: (305)284-1780
Office: G369
Faculty Assistant