Francisco Valdes is Professor of Law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at University of Miami School of Law. 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).