La Raza Law Students Association of UC Davis School of Law was founded in the early 1970's. Our primary goal is to increase the number of Chicanos and Latinos in the law profession. We are the most active and one of the largest law student organizations at King Hall. We provide a supportive environment for Raza law students to succeed and we serve as a forum for Raza law students to share their culture and identity with other law students.
We strive to increase the number of Raza students at King Hall through various recruitment events and information sessions. Each year we host our La Raza Shadow Program, where we invite undergraduate students and local high school students to attend law school classes and presentations, tour the law school, and join us for an informal luncheon to hear what law school is really like. We also work closely with our law school Admissions Office to ensure that our recruitment efforts are reflective of our diverse state. More recently, we have collaborated with Anthony Solana Jr. and For People of Color, Inc. to host law school application workshops and to review the personal statements of students who are applying to law school.
Our community outreach efforts have included community-based projects with the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation of Sacramento, bilingual workshops with the U.S. Census, and an emergency food drive for farmworkers who were negatively impacted during the 1999 citrus freeze in the Fresno area.
The Lorenzo Patiño Awards Banquet is one of our annual highlights, named after the late Lorenzo E. Patiño, a 1973 King Hall graduate and the first Chicano municipal judge in Sacramento. Judge Patiño dedicated his life to empowering poor communities in the Sacramento area. He died in 1983 after battling with leukemia. The yearly banquet brings law students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the local community to honor our graduating Raza members. La Raza Law Students Association invites you to visit King Hall and tour the university to learn more about the faculty, campus, housing, and financial assistance. King Hall is ranked among the top public law schools in the country and is highly ranked by students for the quality of life. We strongly urge you to consider King Hall in your pursuit of a legal education. King Hall's distinguished faculty and amicable learning environment offers an outstanding legal educational experience.
In the spring of 2000, La Raza Law Students Association of UC Davis School of Law decided to create a new and original organizational logo. Submissions were taken and through various discussions and meetings, our organization approved an entire new logo that is more representative of our mission, purpose, goals, and aspirations. The following explains the symbolism of our logo:
THEME: "Justicia E Igualdad Por Nuestra Raza" (Justice and Equality for Our People) The theme accurately describes what we advocate for. We view the law as a means to bring about transformation of the social inequity our people continue to experience in the United States and abroad. We encourage our members to use their legal education to fight for social change and make our communities better places for our future generations.
THE GUERRERO/WARRIOR MOTIF: This motif is based on an original indigenous design of the Mexica (Aztec) Nation. Although modified, this symbol of a warrior reconnects us, as law students, with our indigenous roots, culture, and history. One of our goals is to instill pride of our culture and not become disconnected with it as we continue to obtain our legal education. The motif represents what we, as law students and future lawyers, should strive to be: guerreras/os or advocates for our communities. We carry on that valiant spirit of our ancestors and acknowledge all that our ancestors have done so that our future generations may have a better future.
FIST IN THE AIR: The fist in the air is a protest symbol of resistance that was popularized with the rise of the Chicano Movement of the 1960's & 70's. Young Chicano and Latino activists proudly displayed it in countless marches, demonstrations, sit-ins, walk-outs, etc. Many other people of color also used this symbol in their struggles for justice and equality. The symbol represents that we are not content with current conditions and take action to shed light on these conditions. We encourage each other to use our education, skills, and networks to make our society and world a more humane one for ALL people.
THE UNBALANCED SCALE: The warrior is holding an unbalanced scale because he is exposing the inequality and injustice that our people continue to experience. As advocates, one of our goals is to expose these conditions to the world and mobilize our communities to assert their rights and take action. The scale is also the symbol of the law profession and therefore it was imperative to include this symbol in some way into our logo.
THE MACANA: This macana was one of the weapons used by indigenous people of "MesoAmerica." Its body was made of wood and its blades were made of obsidian (a dark volcanic stone that was popularly used). This symbol represents that we as advocates need to be on the OFFENSIVE through activities such as organizing, educating each other of our rights, and encouraging more young Raza to obtain their education.
THE CHIMALLI OR SHIELD: The chimalli is the Nahuatl word for shield. Warriors carried shields with many different symbolic designs. The design of our chimalli acknowledges the duality inherit in all things such as night/day, female/male, earth/sun, etc. The chimalli represents that we as advocates need to also be on the DEFENSIVE. We strive to use our legal education to have the civil and human rights of our people respected.
Luis Angel Alejo '01 presented the concept as a draft. The draft of the design was sent to local artist Gustavo Reynoso of Sacramento, CA. Reynoso volunteered many hours polishing the design and adding many of the graphic details. He was very supportive of our group and we were appreciative of his excellent work. After a final design was completed, LRLSA members voted to adopt it as our official logo.
We hope this symbol continues to serve to inspire future generations of Raza law students to use their legal education to serve their communities and to always have pride and respect for our indigenous culture and identity