Margaret Montoya ’78

Margaret Montoya

Margaret Montoya is an Emerita Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico.  From her time at Harvard Law School, where she was the first Latina to be accepted, to her current efforts to improve educational outcomes for Latino students, she has dedicated her career to breaking boundaries and working for social justice.  She was named a Great Teacher by the Society of American Law Teachers; has received the Clyde Ferguson Award, an annual honor given by law professors of color for accomplishments in scholarship, teaching and service; and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Latino/a Law Students Association.

Ms. Montoya has devoted herself to advocating for women, whether through training female immigrants about domestic violence or facilitating classroom discussions about diversity and public policy.  Her scholarship on personal narrative and the negotiation of identity within cross-cutting cultural currents has been instrumental in sparking conversations between and within academic disciplines.  By modeling intelligence and sensitivity as a scholar and a teacher, Montoya has been a continuous inspiration students and colleagues.

She is an inspiration to many in the HLS community, “as a teacher, activist, social justice advocate, critical race theorist, and joyful spirit.” Her activism and scholarship have throughout her career remained true to the values of those whose championship of equality and educational access were early inspirations for her.

Montoya earned a B.A. from San Diego State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.