Friday, October 2, 2009

Saucedo Breaks New Ground in Immigration Research

The research agenda of Professor Leticia M. Saucedo examines the incorporation of immigrant communities into the workplace and the effectiveness of the current legal system in protecting immigrants’ rights. Her work explores the legal rights of newly arrived immigrant brown collar workers and the barriers they face to full workplace protection. Her research breaks new ground in legal scholarship because it brings sorely needed social science research, including original empirical data, into legal discussions about the incorporation of immigrants into restructured industries in the United States. Professor Saucedo’s research combines theories from social science with employment, immigration, and human rights law.

Associate Dean Steve Johnson of the Boyd School of Law notes that “Professor Saucedo is splendidly equipped to pursue her research agenda. She was managing editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review, was briefing attorney to Chief Justice Phillips of the Texas Supreme Court, and litigated employment and education cases for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. She has built on that experience in her scholarship.”

Professor Saucedo’s first article, published in the Notre Dame Law review in 2004, introduced the phenomenon of the brown collar workplace. She followed with articles on employment discrimination (in the Ohio State Law Journal), legal disparate treatment and disparate impact doctrines (in the Michigan Journal of Law Reform), forms of protection for immigrant workers from an immigration law perspective (in the University of Richmond Law Review), and mediating domestic violence cases (in the Buffalo Law Review).

Professor Saucedo has enhanced her research through collaboration with sociologist Cristina Morales on an empirical study examining the differential gendered responses of immigrant workers to their working conditions in the Las Vegas construction industry. This is the first of a series of projects to develop data and insights as to this labor market. This research has already led to several articles by Professor Saucedo, including an article in the University of Chicago Legal Forum.

Professor Saucedo’s articles have been well received. They have been widely reprinted and cited, and Professor Saucedo has presented her work at conferences held at Yale, University of Chicago, UCLA, Seton Hall, University of Wyoming, and University of San Francisco, among others.

In spring 2008, Professor Saucedo was appointed a research scholar at the Warren Institute on Race, Diversity and Ethnicity at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She currently is visiting at Duke University School of Law.

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