Associate Dean for Planning and Strategic Initiatives and Professor of Law
Sullivan Hall 420
Associate Dean Steven Bender is a national academic leader in the areas of critical theory, especially LatCrit, and immigration law and policy, as well as an expert in real estate law and thought leader in innovation/technology and ethics. Among his honors, the Minority Groups Section of the Association of American Law Schools presented him with the C. Clyde Ferguson, Jr., Award, a prestigious national award recognizing scholarly reputation, mentoring of junior faculty, and teaching excellence.
He joined the faculty from the University of Oregon in 2011 and served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development from 2014-2017 and since 2017 as the Associate Dean for Planning and Strategic Initiatives. He taught at UO for 20 years and served as the James and Ilene Hershner Professor of Law, founding Director of Portland Programs, Director of the Green Business Initiative, and Co-Director of the Law and Entrepreneurship Center.
Professor Bender is a prolific author of dozens of law review articles and book chapters, a casebook on real estate transactions, a national two-volume treatise on real estate financing, and more than a dozen other acclaimed books. His recent books include the co-authored landmark textbook "Critical Justice: Systemic Advocacy in Law and Society" (West Academic 2021) and an overview of the history and future of the international LatCrit academic nonprofit organization, "LatCrit: From Critical Legal Theory to Academic Activism" (NYU Press 2021).
His other books are "Mea Culpa: Lessons on Law and Regret from U.S. History" (NYU Press 2015); "Run for the Border: Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings" (NYU Press 2012); "Greasers and Gringos: Latinos, Law, and the American Imagination " (NYU Press 2003); "Tierra y Libertad: Land, Liberty, and Latino Housing" (NYU Press 2010); "One Night in America: Robert Kennedy, Cesar Chavez, and the Dream of Dignity" (Routledge 2008), winner of the 2008 Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction; “How the West Was Juan: Reimagining the U.S.-Mexico Border" (San Diego State University Press 2017); and "Comprende?: The Significance of Spanish in English-Only Times," (Floricanto Press 2008). He is co-author of "Everyday Law for Latino/as" (Routledge 2008), "Compassionate Migration and Regional Policy in the Americas" (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), "From Extraction to Emancipation: Reimagining Development” (Carolina Academic Press and the ABA Section of International Law 2018), and "Deadly Voyages: Migrant Journeys Across the Globe" (Rowman & Littlefield 2020).
His research interests coincide with his classroom teaching, which encompasses subjects as diverse as The Lawyer's Role in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Property, Real Estate Transactions, UCC Secured Transactions, Contracts, Social Impact Advocacy, and Latina/os and the Law.
Associate Dean Bender is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. During 2009-2011, Bender served as co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). He is also the founder and initial chair (2023-2024) of the AALS Section on Critical Theories, and co-director of the law school's TILE (Technology, Innovation Law, and Ethics) program.
Critical Justice: Systemic Advocacy in Law and Society (casebook with Francisco Valdes and Jennifer Hill) (West Academic 2021)
LatCrit: From Critical Legal Theory to Academic Activism (with Francisco Valdes) (New York University Press 2021)
Deadly Voyages: Migrant Journeys Across the Globe (co-editor Veronica Fynn Bruey) (Rowman & Littlefield 2020)
From Extraction to Emancipation: Reimagining Development (co-editor Raquel Aldana) (Carolina Academic Press and ABA Section of International Law 2018)
Modern Real Estate Finance and Land Transfer: A Transactional Approach, with Celeste Hammond (John Marshall), Michael Madison (Fordham and Columbia) and Robert Zinman (St. John’s) (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Casebook 6th edition 2018, 5th edition 2012, 4th edition 2008, 3d edition 2004, 2d edition 1999) (casebook as lead author)
Compassionate Migration and Regional Policy in the Americas (lead editor with William Arrocha) (Palgrave Macmillan 2017)
How the West Was Juan: Reimagining the U.S.-Mexico Border (San Diego State University Press, 2017)
Mea Culpa: Lessons on Law and Regret from U.S. History (New York University Press 2015) (reviewed in Richard Delgado, Mea Culpa: What Do We Regret and Why?, 4 Texas A&M Law Review 123 (2016))
The Law of Real Estate Financing, with Michael Madison and Jeffry Dwyer (Thomson Reuters/West Group 1994-2021 with biannual supplements) (2-volume national treatise)
Run for the Border: Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings (New York University Press 2012) (excerpted in Global Issues in Immigration Law, Raquel Aldana, Won Kidane, Beth Lyon, and Karla McKanders, eds. 2013)
Tierra y Libertad: Land, Liberty, and Latino Housing (New York University Press 2010)
Everyday Law for Latinos, with Raquel Aldana (McGeorge) Gilbert Carrasco (Willamette) and Joaquin Avila (Seattle) (Routledge 2008, paperback 2009)
Comprende?: The Significance of Spanish in English-Only Times (Floricanto Press 2008) (excerpted in The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, eds. 2d ed. 2010)
One Night in America: Robert Kennedy, César Chávez, and the Dream of Dignity (Routledge) 2007, paperback 2008) (winner, 2008 Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction) (reviewed in Richard Delgado, Rodrigo’s Homily: Storytelling, Elite Self-Interest, and Legal Change, 87 Oregon Law Review 1259 (2008))
Greasers and Gringos: Latinos, Law, and the American Imagination (New York University Press 2003, paperback 2005) (Honorable Mention, 2004, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights)
The Whole of Mexico: Reimagining a Post-War United States
Exposing Immigration Laws: The Legal Contours of Belonging and Exclusion, in Immigration and the Law: Race, Citizenship, and Social Control, editor Sofia Espinoza Alvarez and Martin Guevara Urbina (University of Arizona Press 2018)
The Chronicles of Immigration Law, in Law Professor and Accidental Historian: The Scholarship of Michael Olivas, editor Ediberto Roman (Carolina Academic Press 2017)
Snapshots of Law and Life in the Texas Borderlands, in Word Images: New Perspectives on Canícula and Other Works by Norma Elia Cantú, editor Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs (University of Arizona Press 2017)
The Latina/o Influence on U.S. Politics: Reality and Potential, in 21st Century Dynamics of Multiculturalism: Beyond Post-Racial America, editor Martin Guevara Urbina (Charles C. Thomas, 2014)
From Sandoval to Subprime: Excluding Latino/as from Property Ownership and Property Casebooks, in Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching: A Critical Reader (Carolina Academic Press 2011)
Savage Fronteras and Tribal Boundaries: Chasing Success in Hollywood’s Bordertown, in Screening Justice (Teree E. Foster, Rennard Strickland, and Taunya Banks, eds., 2006)
Racial Justice and Marijuana, 59 California Western Law Review 223 (2023)
Afterword: Collective Knowledge Production Toward Transformative Social Change: A Community-Grounded Model, 23 Harvard Latinx Law Review 333 (2020)
Joaquin Avila Memorial Symposium Introduction, At the Forefront of Social Change: The Legacy of Joaquin G. Avila, 18 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 1 (2019)
What’s Next? Into a Third Decade of LatCrit Theory, Community, and Praxis (with Francisco Valdes), 16 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 823 (2018); 9 University of Miami Race and Social Justice Law Review 141 (2019)
The Teachings of Pope Francis Symposium: Toward a Common Good for our Common Home (Seattle University symposium introduction), 40 Seattle University Law Review 1167 (2017)
The Colors of Cannabis: Reflections on the Racial Justice Implications of California’s Proposition 64, 50 UC Davis Law Review Online 11 (2017)
The Value of Online Law Review Supplements for Junior and Senior Faculty 33 Touro Law Review 387 (2017) (associate dean symposium)
The Colors of Cannabis: Race and Marijuana, 50 UC Davis Law Review 689 (2016)
Campus Racial Unrest and the Diversity Bargain, 5 Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality 47 (2016)
Foreword: Now, More Than Ever: Reflections on LatCrit At Twenty, 10 Charleston Law Review 173 (2016) and 37 Whittier Law Review 335 (2016)
Income Inequality Hits Home, on-line symposium by New York Law School in Impact: Collected Essays on the Threat of Economic Inequality (2015)
Equity in Times of Mortgage Crisis, 48 Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal 543 (Winter 2014)
Joint Reform?: The Interplay of State, Federal, and Hemispheric Regulation of Recreational Marijuana and the Failed War on Drugs, 6 Albany Government Law Review 359 (2013)
Derrick Bell: Oregon Trailblazer, 36 Seattle University Law Review ix (2013)
Gringo Alley, 45 UC Davis Law Review 1925 (2012)
En Paz Descanse: Remembering Keith Aoki’s Contributions Toward Latina/o Equality, 90 Oregon Law Review 1265 (2012)
Unbound by Law: Keith Aoki as Our Avatar (with Ibrahim Gassama), 90 Oregon Law Review 1189 (2012)
Faces of Immigration Reform, 6 Florida International University Law Review 251 (2011) LatCrit XV Symposium Afterword—At and Beyond Fifteen: Mapping LatCrit Theory, Community, and Praxis (with Frank Valdes), 14 Harvard Latino Law Review 397 (2011); 1 University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review 177 (2011), 22 Berkeley La Raza Law Journal 301 (2012)
Compassionate Immigration Reform, 38 Fordham Urban Law Journal 107 (2010)
Knocked Down Again: An East L.A. Story on the Geography of Color and Colors, 12 Harvard Latino Law Review 109 (2009)
The Enforceability of Default Interest in Real Estate Mortgages (with Michael Madison), 43 Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal 199 (Summer 2008)
Old Hate in New Bottles: Privatizing, Localizing, and Bundling Anti-Spanish and Anti Immigrant Sentiment in the 21st Century, 7 UNLV Law Review 883 (2007)
Race and the California Recall: A Top Ten List of Ironies (with Keith Aoki and Sylvia Lazos), 16 Berkeley La Raza Law Journal 11 (2005)
Seekin’ the Cause: Social Justice Movements and LatCrit Community (with Keith Aoki), 81 Oregon Law Review 595 (2002)
Sight, Sound, and Stereotype: The War Against Terrorism and Its Consequences for Latinas/os, 81 Oregon Law Review 1153 (2002) (excerpted in The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, eds. 2d ed. 2010)
Will the Wolf Survive?: Latino/a Pop Music in the Cultural Mainstream, 78 University of Denver Law Review 719 (2001)
Silencing Culture and Culturing Silence: A Comparative Experience of Centrifugal Forces in the Ethnic Studies Curriculum, Michigan Journal of Race & Law and University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform (2000)
Castles in the Sand: Balancing Public Custom and Private Ownership Interests on Oregon’s Beaches, 77 Oregon Law Review 913 (1998)
Direct Democracy and Distrust: The Relationship between Language Law Rhetoric and the Language Vigilantism Experience, 2 Harvard Latino Law Review 145 (1997) (excerpted in A Reader on Race, Civil Rights, and American Law: A Multiracial Approach, Timothy Davis, Kevin R. Johnson, and George Martinez, eds. 2001)
Consumer Protection for Latinos: Overcoming Language Fraud and English‑Only in the Marketplace, 45 American University Law Review 1027 (1996)
Rate Regulation at the Crossroads of Usury and Unconscionability: The Case for Regulating Abusive Commercial and Consumer Interest Rates under the Unconscionability Standard, 31 Houston Law Review 721 (1994)
Oregon Consumer Protection: Outfitting Private Attorneys General for the Lean Years Ahead, 73 Oregon Law Review 639 (1994)
The Politics of Compassion: Immigration and Asylum Policy (invited book review), 53 International Migration Review 637 (2019)
César Chávez Would Oppose Trump’s Border Policies, https://blog.oup.com/2017/03/cesar-chavez-trump-border-policies/ (March 31, 2017, Oxford University Press blog)
Op-ed, Reaching the American Dream is Harder for People of Color, New York Times Room for Debate, January 1, 2015
International Drug Wars, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements (Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González, eds., 2016).
“Cesar Chavez,” Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press.
“Dolores Huerta,” Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press.
“Property Rights,” Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press.
Commentary on Rick Su, Immigration as Urban Policy, ImmigrationProf Blog (September 3, 2013)
Editorial Board, Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching: A Critical Reader (Carolina Academic Press 2011) (SALT and Golden Gate University School of Law publication)
Oregon Beach Bill (essay prepared for Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition’s Coastal Climate Change Adaptation project)
Invited blog entry, The Page 99 Test, addressing Run for the Border Book (2012)
Contributions to Nuestras Voces Latinas Blog as Co-Editor, http://nuestrasvoceslatinas.blogspot.com/
Avoiding Lender Liability in Commercial Loan Workouts: Ten Rules Offered in Good Faith (American College of Real Estate Lawyers annual bound publication, Fall 2009, of annual meeting CLE presentation materials)
Commentary, Real Property Law Reporter (November 2008)
SALT Statement on Post-9/11 Anti-Immigration Measures (with Raquel Aldana) (2007)
Book Review, Latinos and American Law: Landmark Supreme Court Cases, in 48 American Journal of Legal History 342 (2006)
Anglo Stereotyping of Latinos, in Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States (Ilan Stavans, ed., 2005)
Latino Stereotyping of Anglos, in Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States (Ilan Stavans, ed., 2005)
Spanish Language Rights and Law in Oregon, in Nosotros, Essays and Recollections: The Hispanic People of Oregon (Oregon Council for the Humanities 1995)
Our Laws Should Encourage, Not Bar, Multilingualism, Eugene Register Guard, April 4, 1996, at 13A
Arizona Guaranty Actions (1990) (Arizona State Bar mini-treatise publication)
July 30, 2019 | Longreads
When legalizing marijuana, states should focus on racial justice and not just revenue, says Professor Steven Bender.
March 20, 2019 | The Christian Science Monitor
Professor Steven Bender says the third generation of marijuana legalization is race consciousness.