Joaquin Avila honored by Harvard Law School Alumni Association
(August 22, 2012) Joaquin Avila, director of the National Voting Rights Advocacy Initiative at Seattle University School of Law, has received another prestigious award for his influential voting rights work. The Harvard Law School Association selected him for the HLSA Award - the law school's highest alumni award. Avila is a 1973 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review case and comments editor.
Avila, distinguished practitioner in residence at the law school, has devoted his career to protecting minority voting rights. He is a nationally recognized expert who has worked tirelessly to ensure that minorities are fairly represented in the election process. He previously served as president and general counsel to the Mexican American Legal Education and Defense Fund and was in private practice focused on voting rights. He spearheaded passage of the 2001 California Voting Rights Act, the only such law in the country.
Among his accolades, he recently received the Ohtli Award from the Mexican government and the Latino Amicus Award from Seattle University School of Law. He also is the receipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the State Bar of California's Loren Miller Legal Services Award and the Hispanic National Bar Association's Benito Juarez/Abraham Lincoln Award for outstanding achievement and dedication to the Latino community.