Gerald P. Lopez

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Gerald P. López
OccupationProfessor of Law
Known forRebellious Lawyering

Gerald P. López (born 1948) is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law.[1] He is also the author of several influential books about lawyering and law practice.

Education and early career[edit]

López obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Southern California in 1970 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1974.[citation needed]

He served as a judicial clerk for Edward J. Schwartz, then joined three other attorneys in founding a firm specializing in criminal defense, civil rights litigation and community mobilization.[1] They used criminal defense, immigration law, and personal injury cases to pay the bills and subsidize their civil rights practice, where the odds of winning were less.[2] It was around this same time that he began teaching, also to support his civil rights practice.[2]

Teaching career[edit]

He has taught at UCLA School of Law, Stanford Law School, New York University School of Law, and Harvard Law School.[1]

At Stanford he co-founded the now defunct Lawyering for Social Change Program,[2] at UCLA the Program in Public Interest Law and Policy,[1] and the Center for Community Problem Solving at NYU.[3]

Law students at Yale Law School have organized an annual public interest law conference called RebLaw, which was inspired by Lopez's book Rebellious Lawyering.[4]


He has published many books about lawyers as problem-solvers.[1] In Rebellious Lawyering he sought to develop a new vision of the progressive practice of law.[2] He is an advocate of client-centered lawyering, rather than the traditional approach to law practice which sees the lawyer as all-knowing and the client as powerless and needing help.[2] The client-centered approach sees lawyers as working with clients, rather than on their behalf.[2] He believes that a lawyer should be knowledgeable about the culture and experiences of the groups that lawyer works with, and is an advocate of integrating the fields of law and sociology and anthropology.[2]

As a result of his approach, he advocates for comprehensive and coordinated legal and non-legal problem solving in low-income, of color, and immigrant communities.[1]



  • Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano’s Vision of Progressive Law Practice (1992)
  • Reentry Guide to New York City (2005)
  • Streetwise About Money (2006)
  • A Fair and Just Workplace (2006)

Rebellious Lawyering Institute[edit]

Professor López is a co-founder of the Rebellious Lawyering Institute.[5] The Rebellious Lawyering Institute has sponsored three law conferences in New Mexico, in 2008, 2010, and 2013, and a fourth law conference at UC Hastings College of Law, San Francisco, California in 2014.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Faculty profile, UCLA, retrieved 2015-01-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g MirandŽ, Alfredo (Sep 1, 2011). Rascuache Lawyer: Toward a Theory of Ordinary Litigation. University of Arizona Press. pp. 6–16, 104, 144–145. ISBN 9780816529834. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  3. ^ López, Gerald (April 2004). "SHAPING COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING AROUND COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE" (PDF). N.Y.U. L. Rev. 79: 59. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  4. ^ "About RebLaw". Yale. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b "About the Rebellious Lawyering Institute". Rebellious Lawyering Institute. Retrieved 29 January 2015.