Honorable Mario G. Olmos Law & Cultural Diversity Memorial Lecture
This annual lecture honors the Honorable Mario G. Olmos '71 who dedicated his life to promoting equality and justice for people from diverse national, economic, racial, and cultural origins. Born on July 24, 1946, in Nogales , Arizona , Judge Olmos graduated from Reedley Junior College and University of California , Berkeley where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. At Boalt Hall he was an Ayer fellow and a Regents Scholar. Although he was nominated to the California Law Review, he chose instead to work in the community and to recruit students of color to Boalt.
Upon graduation from Boalt, Judge Olmos worked as an attorney at California Rural Legal Services in Madera , and then as a Justice Court Judge in Parlier and Selma . In December 1982, he was appointed to the Fresno County Superior Court, where he was elected presiding judge for three consecutive years. He also served with distinction on the California Judicial Council.
During the 1980's, Judge Olmos became known as a leader who sought to bridge the gap between cultures and races. In 1990 he died at the age of 43 in a tragic automobile accident. After his death, Judge Olmos' family, friends, and colleagues established a trust fund to support a permanent lecture series at Boalt Hall to perpetuate the Judge's abiding commitment to the development of law promoting equality and justice for all people. Past Olmos lecturers include the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, Professor Peter Edelman, Joaquin G. Avila, Professor Derrick Bell, the Honorable Thelton Henderson, the Honorable Richard Paez, the Honorable Cruz Reynoso, and Kamala Harris.