Laura E. Gómez currently serves as Vice Dean for Faculty Development at UCLA School of Law. She joined UCLA as a faculty member in 1994. She was a co-founder and the first co-director (with Professor Jerry Kang) of UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program, and she is a core faculty member in that program.
Professor Gómez also holds appointments in UCLA’s Sociology Department (1994-2005, 2012-present) and Chicana/Chicano Studies Department (2012-present). From 2005-2011, she was a faculty member at the University of New Mexico, where she was the only professor ever jointly-appointed in the School of Law and the College of Arts & Sciences.
Gómez teaches in the areas of race and the law, law and society, constitutional law, civil procedure, and criminal law. She has lectured widely and has published numerous articles, book chapters and op-ed commentaries, as well as three books. Her scholarship has focused on the intersection of law, politics and social stratification in both contemporary and historical contexts. In her 2007 book, Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race, Professor Gómez examines how law and racial ideology intersected to create new racial groups and to re-structure the turn-of-the-twentieth century racial order in the U.S. This book has been widely cited and assigned in courses across the country.
Professor Gómez is active in several national scholarly organizations, including the Law and Society Association, where she has served in a variety of leadership positions, including president (2009-2011). As an associate editor of the Law & Society Review, she worked to produce a special issue on law and racial inequality, published in 2010. Professor Gómez has been a peer reviewer for several other journals in legal studies, gender studies, Chicano/a studies, legal history and sociology, and she has been a member of the editorial boards of Law & Social Inquiry, SIGNS and Studies in Law, Politics and Society. She has held prestigious residential fellowships at the School for American Research in Santa Fe and the Stanford Humanities Center in Palo Alto.
Professor Gómez received an A.B. from Harvard in Social Studies (where she was a Harry S Truman Scholar), an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University (where she had a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship), and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Following law school, Professor Gómez clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson. Before going to Stanford, she worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman.