Bryant Smith Chair, University of Texas Law School
J.D., Yale Law School, 1977
LL.M., University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, 1980
A.B., Stanford University, 1974
Gerald Torres holds the Bryant Smith Chair at the University of Texas. He is an expert in environmental law, agricultural law, and in critical race theory. Torres came to the University of Texas Law School in 1994 after teaching at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he also served as associate dean. Before coming to Texas, Torres has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as counsel to then-U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
His book, The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) with Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier, was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “one of the most provocative and challenging books on race produced in years.” Torres’ articles include “Translation and Stories” (Harvard Law Review, 2002), “Who Owns the Sky?” (Pace Law Review, 2001), “Taking and Giving: Police Power, Public Value, and Private Right” (Environmental Law, 1996), and “Translating Yonnondio by Precedent and Evidence: The Mashpee Indian Case” (Duke Law Journal, 1990). He has recently published articles on ground water in the Yale Law Journal (online) and on the Fisher case in the Vanderbilt Law Review (online).
Torres is a past president of the Association of American Law Schools. He has served on the board of the Environmental Law Institute, the National Petroleum Council, and on EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute. Torres was honored with the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos. He currently is board chair of the Advancement Project, the nation’s leading social and racial justice organization. He is also on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council and is vice-chairman of the Board of Earth Day Network. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Stanford and Yale law schools.