Ithaca, NEW YORK, February 19, 2014
Dean Stewart J. Schwab announced that Gerald Torres will join the permanent faculty of Cornell Law School on June 1, 2014. Torres, a former president of the Association of American Law Schools, was previously the Bryant Smith Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law.
“We are delighted that Gerald Torres is joining us. He is a highly visible national figure, and a scholar and public intellectual in many fields,” says Dean Schwab. “His wide-ranging interests include environmental law, Federal Indian law, and critical race theory. He will help the Law School continue to build connections with other parts of Cornell University.”
Before he taught at the University of Texas, Torres was an associate dean at The University of Minnesota Law School. He has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as counsel to then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute and has served on the boards of the Environmental Law Institute and the National Petroleum Council, as well as on the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
“Cornell Law School has clearly demonstrated that it is a special place, one that is very supportive of my work,” says Torres. “The school is a community of scholars who have created a culture of mutual respect while actively engaging each other’s work.”
Torres was honored with the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos. His latest book, The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) with Harvard law professor Lani Guinier, was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “one of the most provocative and challenging books on race produced in years.”
Torres notes that his new colleagues “understand the substantial intellectual sophistication required for the first-rate practice of law and welcome the light shed by the cognate disciplines in the university on the problems in legal scholarship. I am thrilled by the opportunity to join them.”
Torres originally came to Cornell Law School for the 2013 school year as the Marc and Beth Goldberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law. This semester, he is teaching Federal Indian Law, Water Law, and a seminar on Law and Social Movements.