Over the last fifty years, the Chicanx-Latinx Law Review (CLLR) has provided an essential forum for the discussion of issues affecting the Latinx community, and other marginalized communities, that mainstream law journals continue to ignore. In publishing Volume One, CLLR introduced to the nation the first legal journal that recognized how common law, statutes, legislative policy, and political propositions impact the Latinx community. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Nevada Supreme Court, and New Jersey Superior Court have cited CLLR.
Volume 39, Issue 2, 2023
Reynoso Special Issue
This speech was delivered as welcoming remarks at the 2022 CLLR Symposiummarking Justice Cruz Reynoso’s career.
I am Len ReidReynoso—the eldest son of Cruz Reynoso. Dad passed away on May 7, 2021. Following the 2022 Symposium honoring the life and legacy of my Dad, the Chicanx-Latinx-Law Review approached me to write about Dad. I wondered how I could best honor him. Dad had expressed disappointment that much information written about him didn’t sufficiently focus on his family. In this piece, I share my personal perspective as Cruz Reynoso’s son. In doing so, I hope to add another layer of understanding Cruz Reynoso.
Justice Cruz Reynoso, my law school Professor and mentor, had a profound impact on my life.
This Article considers Cruz Reynoso’s pioneering legal career marked by an unswerving devotion to the struggle for justice for all. Part I highlights his foundational work as executive director of California Rural Legal Assistance, a revolutionary legal services organization that continues to thrive in its mission of ensuring justice for the poor in California’s rural heartland. Part II offers highlights of Justice Reynoso’s time on the California Court of Appeal, before his appointment as the first Latino. Part III reviews his scholarly and teaching accomplishments as a law professor and social justice activist.
The passing of civil rights attorney, judge, and law professor Cruz Reynoso in 2021 brought to mind my own experiences learning from this remarkable man. As a law clerk, attorney, and legal academic I had the opportunity to see Justice Reynoso in adversity, triumph, and scholarship. His resilience, humility, and creativity made him a model of what a committed and conscientious legal professional should be.
Justice Reynoso cared about people. He didn’t need the accolades, wealth, nor titles: he needed to be close to his community. He showed up for people when they needed him the most. He was a community organizer, litigator, expert witness, and mentor to countless students as a means of building for the future. He sowed the seeds for a more just and inclusive society and we owe him to continue his legacy.