UCHastings Instagram

          What's on your #GratitudeTree? #UCH3
          Instagram Photo Likes feliperomerojr, mnguyen_ltd, alixgutmann and 21 others like this.
          Wednesday, April 24, 2013

          Committed to Diversity: Cris Ibarra '79, American Dream Maker

          With work on two continents and expertise in a multitude of legal arenas—immigration, business, family, employment, and trademark law—Cris Ibarra ‘79’s San Francisco-based practice gives new meaning to the term eclectic.

          Some of his immigration clients are talented academics, athletes, and artists seeking “extraordinary ability” visas, such as the two Nigerian soccer players who went on to play in the World Cup, or the Brazilian artist whose work is at the Smithsonian Institution. But the bulk of Ibarra’s immigration work helps ordinary individuals from around the globe who want a shot at the American Dream.

          That’s something Ibarra has firsthand experience with. At age 15, he came to San Francisco from the Philippines with his mother and siblings, following his CPA father, who accurately predicted political turmoil back home. Ibarra had it easier than many immigrants do today. “Between 1965 and 1969, the United States opened its doors to Asians,” he says. Ibarra already spoke English when he arrived, in addition to Filipino and Mandarin. Hard work came easy, thanks to a rigorous education at a Jesuit Chinese school in the Philippines.

          After high school in San Francisco and a degree from UC Berkeley, it was on to UC Hastings. That was during the turbulent 1970s, and Ibarra was part of a movement that closed down the school for a couple of weeks to protest limiting admission of women and minorities. The movement started with the Asian Law Caucus, of which Ibarra was a member. “We took it to the Regents and won,” he recalls.

          Ibarra still found time to get a great education. He especially loved an immigration course that he took, as well as Rudolf Schlesinger’s conflicts of laws class. “I couldn’t get into Professor Schlesinger’s class, so I sat in on the lectures for the entire semester,” he says. “It really helped me later in one of my cases that last for years and ended up in the Ninth Circuit.”

          Today, Ibarra regularly travels to Southeast Asia, where he provides consulting services to companies developing local infrastructure. And he’s collaborating with UC Hastings to create a visiting scholars program that would encourage law students, practicing attorneys, and judges from overseas to take courses in San Francisco. With his multilingual abilities, Asian heritage, and business expertise, Ibarra is the perfect person to make it happen.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Monday, November 23, 2015

          UC Hastings Trial Team Wins ABA San Francisco Regional

          “There are teams that script themselves, with a speech they memorize word for word, and there are rare teams like ours, that don’t come with scripts.”
          Thursday, November 19, 2015

          Wu to Step Down as UC Hastings Chancellor and Dean

          Joint announcement from the UC Hastings Board of Directors and Chancellor and Dean Frank H. Wu
          Wednesday, November 18, 2015

          Manoj Viswanathan to Join UC Hastings Faculty

          Professor Viswanathan's research focuses on tax policy, economic development, and the regulation of tax-exempt organizations.
          Wednesday, November 18, 2015

          Thinkers & Doers: Nov. 18, 2015

          UC Hastings community members in the news and making moves.
          Tuesday, November 17, 2015

          Can more stable work schedules help employees and businesses thrive?

          A groundbreaking study launches in 30 Gap stores this month to pilot best practices aimed at promoting schedule stability for hourly workers.
          Go to News Archive