Kauffman has been a civil rights litigator specializing in the education, voting and employment rights of Latinos. For nearly 20 years, Kauffman was the senior litigating attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in San Antonio. As a MALDEF attorney, Kauffman was the lead attorney for plaintiffs in the Texas school finance cases, for Latino plaintiffs in the Texas Higher Education System finance and desegregation case and in litigation challenging the state's use of the TAAS test for graduation from Texas high schools. He has also litigated affirmative action cases, local and state voting rights, employment discrimination cases, immigration and hospital admission policy cases. Biography
After MALDEF, he served as a Senior Legal and Policy Advocate Associate for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard Law School. Subsequently, he served as the Senior Legal Policy Advocate at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at the University of California at Berkeley. While there, he wrote about civil rights issues such as voting rights, No Child Left Behind, affirmative action, and public schools' student assignment systems.
Kauffman was part of a small team of experts involved with passing both the state’s top 10 percent rule for admission to public universities and recent changes to admission and scholarship criteria for public graduate and professional schools.
Honors and Awards
Drum Major for Justice Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action (2013).
Maria A. Berriozabal Visionary Leadership Award from Our Lady of the Lake University (2013).
Texas Lawyer selection as one of “The 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century,” 2010.
Lifetime Achievement Award, St. Mary’s Law School Hispanic Law Students Association, 2009.
Laredo Texas LULAC, Champions of Education Award, 2004.
Editorial Advisory Committee, Harvard Latino Law Review, 2003 (national award).
Mary’s School of Law, Sir Thomas More Award, 2003 (national award).
Boston College, chosen to give Boisi Lecture, “The No Child Left Behind Act, Dropouts and Affirmative Action: What’s the Common Issue?” 2003 (national award).
American GI Forum Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002.
Columbia Law School Human Rights Law Review Annual Award for Human Rights, 2002 (national award).
Edgewood School District Achievement Award, 2002.
Texas LULAC Service Award, 2002.
Amistad award Texas State IMAGE, 2000.
PTA national Lifetime Service Award, Edgewood I.S.D. PTA 2000.
Board of Advisors, The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues, 1999 (national award).
Association of Higher Education - Hispanic Caucus selected to give Tomas Rivera lecture at 1997 National AHE Convention (national award).
Texas State NAACP - Heroes Award, 1996.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities - P. Gus Cardenas National Service to Higher Education Award - 1995 (national award).
Texas Lawyer, selected one of ten most influential lawyers in Texas for decade 1985-1995.
Hero for Children Award, Texas State Board of Education, 1994.
Henry B. Gonzalez Award, Legal Achievement - St. Mary's Law School Hispanic Alumni, 1994.
Edgewood Plaintiffs Award - Service to Low-Wealth Districts, 1994.
San Antonio Chapter, ACLU - John Henry Faulk Liberty Award, 1992.
Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education - Meritorious Service Award, 1992.
Association of Higher Education - Hispanic Caucus Lifetime Achievement Award, 1992
Texas Mexican American Bar Association - Lifetime Achievement Award, 1992.
Incarnate Word College - "Insigne Verbum" Award, 1992.
San Antonio Mind Science Foundation, Imagineer Award, 1992.
McAllen Tripas Club, "Tripero Distinguido," 1990.
Texas GI Forum Education Award, 1990.
Texas Mexican American Bar Association Education Award, 1990.
Harlandale I.S.D. Education Award, 1989.
San Antonio Bilingual Education Trendsetter, 1988.
Texas LULAC "Educacion - La Solucion," 1988.
Edgewood I.S.D., "Amigos de Edgewood", 1987.
Socorro I.S.D. Educational Achievement Award, 1987.
Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, 1986.
Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans, 1984.
Articles in a Periodical
- Tribute, Judge William Wayne Justice: A Life of Human Dignity and Refractory Mules, St. Mary’s Law Journal, 215-230 (2010).
- Introduction to Issue: Education and Minorities in the Modern Era: Working Civil Rights Into Practice, Policy and Procedure, The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues , 101-108 (2010).
- The Texas School Finance Litigation Saga: Great Progress, Then Near Death By A Thousand Cuts, 40 St. Mary’s Law Journal 511-579 (2008).
- Accessibility to Comprehensive Higher Education in Texas, 31 The Social Science Journal 263 (1994) (with Richard Jones)
- Applying Edgewood v. Kirby to Analysis of Fundamental Rights Under the Texas Constitution, 22 St. Mary’s Law Journal 69 (1991) (with Carmen Rumbaut)
Shorter Works in Collections
- Texas School Finance Litigation: Great Progress and Some Regression, in Institute for Educational Equity and Opportunity, A Quality Education for Every Child: Stories from the Lawyers on the Front Lines, pp.109-155 (David Long, et al. ed., 2009).
- The Hopwood Case: What It Says and What It Doesn’t, chapter in Affirmative Action’s Testament of Hope: Strategies for a New Era in Higher Education by Mildred Garcia, State University of New York Press (1997).
- Minority Concerns: A Response to TASP, Chapter in From Politics to Policy: A Case Study in Educational Reform, Matthews, Swanson, Kerker, Praeger Press, (New York, NY 1991).No Child Left Behind Act Resource Guide, The Civil Rights Project at Harvard (2004) (with Dan Losen)
- Lead writer and lead researcher on large number of briefs to U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and numerous U.S. District Courts on issues of school finance, testing, higher education finance, affirmative action, and voting rights.