Dean Johnson Receives Precursor de Justicia Award

The Mexican American Bar Foundation honored Dean Kevin R. Johnson with its 2024 Precursor de Justicia Award at the Foundation’s 33rd Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala. Johnson accepted the award at a June 1 ceremony.  

His “dedication to the pursuit of justice, advocacy for diversity, and mentorship of emerging legal professionals truly embodies the spirit of the Precursor de Justicia Award,” Patricia Higuera, Director of the Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala, said in a statement before the event. 

Johnson has significantly contributed to the legal sphere, particularly in public interest law, Chicana/o Studies, and civil rights.  

His active participation supports the Foundation's mission to promote diversity in the legal profession through education. Established in 1991, the Foundation has awarded over $4 million in scholarships and bar stipends, positively impacting over 500 scholars.

Johnson accepted the award from his former Harvard Law School classmate, fellow Harvard Law Review editor, and godfather to his eldest child, Southwestern Law School Professor Christopher David Ruiz Cameron. Retired Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court Carlos Moreno and President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) Thomas Saenz were also in attendance. 

Kevin R. Johnson is the law school’s dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and professor of Chicana/o studies at UC Davis. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.