August 12, 2013 – A new book names Professor Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager professor of law, one of only 26 “best law teachers” in the United States. The book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2013), is the culmination of a four-year study that sought to identify extraordinary law teachers. The study details the attributes and practices of these professors who have a significant, positive and long-term effect on their students.
Professor Motomura is an influential scholar and teacher of immigration and citizenship law. He is a co-author of two immigration-related casebooks, and he has published many significant articles and essays on immigration and citizenship. His book, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States, published in 2006, won the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award from the Association of American Publishers as the year’s best book in Law and Legal Studies, and was chosen by the U.S. Department of State for its Suggested Reading List for Foreign Service Officers.
Prior to joining the UCLA Law faculty in 2007, Professor Motomura was Kenan distinguished professor of law at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and before that Nicholas Doman professor of international law at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 1997, Professor Motomura was named President’s Teaching Scholar, which is the highest teaching distinction at the University of Colorado. He has won several other teaching awards, including the Chris K. Iijima Teacher and Mentor Award by the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty and the Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
What the Best Law Teachers Do is authored by Professor Gerry Hess of Gonzaga University School of Law, Professor Sophie Sparrow of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean and professor of law at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. To gain a deep understanding as to what makes extraordinary law teachers so effective, the authors visited each of the 26 subjects to observe classroom behavior and conducted lengthy interviews with the subjects and their deans, colleagues, students and alumni.