November 18, 2015
Professor Christopher Cameron Named a Leader in Diversity
Professor Christopher David Ruiz Cameron is one of 20 law professors from around the country to be named a Leader in Diversity by National Jurist magazine. As the most active member of Southwestern's faculty in advising, mentoring, promoting, providing scholarship opportunities and working alongside Latino law students for more than 24 years, Professor Cameron takes great pride in the accomplishments of these students, both while they are in law school and as they have pursued successful careers.
"I'm both humbled and honored by this commendation, which really recognizes Southwestern's century-long commitment to championing the success of law student of all backgrounds," Professor Cameron said. "Without the law school's support of my diversity efforts -- especially the scholarship program of the Mexican American Bar Foundation, which has awarded over $2 million to nearly 400 Latino students attending law school in Southern California -- I would have accomplished very little."
Dean Susan Prager praised Professor Cameron for his extraordinary work on behalf of law students and graduates. "Christopher David Ruiz Cameron is so deserving of this important recognition by the National Jurist. Chris is not only a great teacher, he has been an exceptionally dedicated and caring advisor who has made a tremendous difference in the lives and careers of law students particularly Latina and Latino students. In significant part because of the culture Chris has engendered and furthered here at Southwestern, we are one of the most racially diverse law schools in the nation. His efforts have helped not only prepare students for leadership in a wide range of roles in the legal profession, they have in turn strengthened this great city in an ongoing way. Chris Cameron has been passionate, determined and tireless, but he has also shown students, alums and colleagues of all races the fun and the pleasure of furthering diversity at our law school and throughout the profession. Professor Cameron stands for excellence, and every one of us privileged to work with him have become better and stronger because of him."
The longtime faculty advisor to Southwestern's Latino Law Students Association (LLSA), Professor Cameron's support of Latino students includes:
- Drawing students into the administration and execution of projects and helping them develop their leadership skills along the way.
- Initiating and nurturing LLSA's involvement with the Bienvenidos Brunch for new law students, the Hoover Elementary School holiday toy and clothing drives, and the Graduating LLSA Seniors' Banquet.
- As a director of the Mexican American Bar Foundation, helping raise over $2 million in scholarships and bar stipends awarded to 379 students of Latino heritage, including nearly $400,000 awarded to 100+ Southwestern students.
- Connecting Southwestern students to networking opportunities offered by the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association, and other organizations of Latino lawyers.
- Mentoring more than 1,500 students of Latino heritage who have gone on to work in all areas of the public and private sectors, from solo practitioners' offices to corporate law firms and law departments, in law, accounting, government, etc., and have been recognized for their contributions to the Hispanic community.
- Teaching mock law classes for the Legal Education Action Program (LEAP) presented by the Hispanic National Bar Association Legal Education Fund that is designed to introduce Hispanic high school students to the US legal system and encourage them to pursue a career in law.
"Professor Cameron's dedication to create a supportive community for students of color and to ensure that the students receive the faculty support to finish their legal career speaks volumes to his dedication to the Latino community," said 3L Maritza Agundez, who was recently awarded a prestigious MALDEF scholarship. "Professor Cameron is mindful and socially aware of the struggles students of color face when entering law school and has become a catalyst to ensure these issues are addressed by the administration and faculty. I personally have relied on Professor Cameron's expertise in navigating my law school experience and owe many of my accomplishments to his continuous support and advice regarding the challenges I faced as a first-generation Latina entering law school."