Thalia González

Associate Professor, Politics


Education: B.A., Arizona State University; J.D., Northwestern University

During the 2016 – 2017 academic year, Professor González is a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University Law Center.  

Professor Thalia González teaches and writes in the fields of restorative justice, juvenile justice, civil rights, education, human rights, law and society, and public interest practice.  She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of school-based restorative justice and her work on disproportionality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and restorative practices has been utilized by school districts, county safety councils, community-based organizations, academic institutions, think tanks, and bar associations.  Building on her applied research, Professor González published Reorienting Restorative Justice (2015) in which she argued that the ontology of restorative justice should to be viewed to include a liberatory moment of politicization focused on promoting equality and human relationality.  Her forthcoming article, Restorative Justice From the Margins to the Center, traces the emergence of school-based restorative justice and its subsequent cascade and institutionalization as a new school discipline norm.   

Within the larger field of public interest law and social justice, her work reflects two trajectories: individual case studies of collaborative models of problem-solving between lawyers and communities seeking to achieve systemic change, and scholarship contextualizing and expanding the contemplative law movement.  She has developed a community workshop series to engage questions of in an unjust world, what is the relationship between individual transformation and collective liberation?  The workshops focus on community-building and critical reflection about how lawyers can work in solidarity with individuals and communities most often marginalized and excluded from spaces of power and privilege.  Her forthcoming articles, Root to Rise and A Quiet Revolution more deeply explore mindful social justice lawyering and argue a need to decenter the identity of “mindfulness” from the individual, and to expand it into the collective domain.

Professor González has been recognized for her excellence in teaching, including being awarded the Linda and Todd White Teaching Prize, the Loftgordon Teaching Award and selected as the Mortar Board Last Lecture speaker.  She is a member of the Research to Practice Collaborative of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA and has worked as a consultant for the National Institute of Justice.  She has been a Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Law (2012-2013) and UCLA School of Law (2015-2016).  Prior to joining the faculty at Occidental College, she was a practicing attorney, and held appointments at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Arizona State University.  She is Chair of the Board of Directors of CADRE and serves on the Leadership Team of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition.


Thalia González, Restorative Justice From the Margins to the Center: The Emergence of a New Norm in School Discipline (forthcoming in Howard Law Journal, 2017)

Thalia González, A Quiet Revolution: Mindfulness, Rebellious Lawyering and Community Practice (forthcoming in California Western Law Review, 2017)

Thalia González, Root to Rise: Mindful Lawyering for Social Justice (forthcoming in N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change, 2017)

Thalia González, From Global to Local: Domestic Human Rights Norms in Theory and Practice 59 How. L.J. 501 (2016)

Thalia González, Reorienting Restorative Justice: Initiating a New Dialogue of Rights Consciousness, Community Empowerment and Politicization, 16 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 457 (2015)

Thalia González & Giovanni Saarman, Regulating Pollutants, Good Neighbor Agreements, and Negative Externalities: Who Bears the Burden of Protecting Communities? 41 Ecology L.Q. 37 (2014)

Thalia González, Reclaiming the Promise of the Indian Child Welfare Act: A Study of State Incorporation and Adoption of Legal Protections for Indian Status Offenders, 42 N.M. L. Rev. 131 (2012)

Thalia González, Keeping Kids in Schools: Restorative Justice, Punitive Discipline, and the School to Prison Pipeline, 41 J.L. & Educ. 281 (2012)

Thalia González, Restoring Justice: Community Organizing to Transform School Discipline Policies, 15 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol’y 2 (2011)

Thalia González, A Model for Economic Empowerment: Minority Business Development and Advocacy Before the California Public Utilities Commission, Los Angeles Pub. Int. L.J. 104 (2010)

Book Chapters and Edited Volumes

Thalia González & Lauren Eckstrom, From Practice to Praxis: Mindful Lawyering for Social Justice, in Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis (Melanie Klein, Beth Berila & Chelsea Jackson, ed., 2016).

Thalia González, Socializing Schools: Addressing Racial Disparities in Discipline Through Restorative Justice, in Closing the School Discipline Gap: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion (Daniel J. Losen ed., 2014)

Thalia González & Edwin González-Santin, The Indian Child Welfare Act: A Legal Mandate for Social Justice and Preservation of American Indian/Native Alaskan Heritage, in Social Issues in Contemporary Native America: Reflections from Turtle Island (Hilary N. Weaver ed., 2014)

Thalia González, Protecting the Future of Tribal Communities: Ensuring Compliance with the Indian Welfare Act, in Big Ideas for Children in the Southwest (First Focus ed., 2012).

Thalia González & Benjamin Cairns, Moving Beyond Exclusion: Integrating Restorative Practices and Impacting School Culture in Denver Public Schools, in Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System (Nancy E. Dowd ed., 2011) 

Conference Papers

Thalia González, From Global to Local: Domestic Human Rights Norms in Theory and Practice, paper presented at the Mid-Atlantic Law & Society Association (August 21, 2015)

Thalia González, Mindfulness and Community-Centered Legal Education, paper presented at the Mindfulness & Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice Conference (June 3-6, 2015)

Thalia González, Integrating Experiential Legal Education into the Undergraduate Curriculum: A New Dimension to Critical Service-Learning, paper presented at the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference (February 7-9, 2014)

Thalia González, Community-based Experiential Undergraduate Legal Education and Collaboration with Law Schools, paper presented at the Society of American Law Teachers Teaching Conference (December 10-11, 2010)

Sponsored Research 

2016, Thalia González.  Restorative Justice and School Safety: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Current Practices, Programs and Policies.  National Institute of Justice, Office of Research and Evaluation.  Assessment of school safety and restorative justice. 

2012-2014, Thalia González.  The Emergence and Experience of Human Rights in South Los Angeles and Beyond.  Occidental College Anderson Grant.  Assessment of localized human rights practice. 

2012-2013, Thalia González. Race and Gender Disparities in Discipline: A Research to Practice Collaborative.  Atlantic Philanthropies.  Assessment of restorative justice practice in schools and development of recommendations for practice, policy, and research.

2010-2011, Thalia González. The Use of Restorative Practices at North High School. Occidental College Anderson Grant.  Assessment of the use restorative justice by students and teachers to address conflict. 


POLS 140 - Law and Society
POLS 234 - Juvenile Justice
POLS 238 - Human Rights in the United States
POLS 243 - Restorative Justice
POLS 244 - Constitutional Law
POLS 247 - Supreme Court Politics
POLS 260 - Community Law Internship  
POLS 340 - Rebellious Lawyering
POLS 345 - Constitutional Law II
POLS 346 - Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
POLS 347 - Race and Law

Legal Links


http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/index.html. Archive containing opinions of the court issued since 1990.  

http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html.  Free source for finding cases (federal and the state level).

http://www.landmarkcases.org/.  Wide range of materials about landmark cases, including secondary sources, and a helpful glossary.

The Supreme Court & the Justices

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/.  Official site of the Supreme Court and provides information about the history and operation of the Court, links to cases, as well as biographical information about the justices.

http://www.supremecourthistory.org/. Official site for the Historical Society of the Supreme Court and is resource for information about the Court (includes a timeline, biographies of the justices, and information about including landmark cases).

http://www.oyez.org/oyez/frontpage.  Multimedia site that includes audio transcripts of oral arguments in major cases, a virtual tour of the Court, as well as biographical information for sitting justices, information about pending cases, and news items about the Court. 

News & Press Coverage

http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/us/sc/. News about the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

http://www.law.com/jsp/scm/index.jsp.  News and commentary about the Supreme Court.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/currentawareness/ussupremes.php. News about the Supreme Court, as well as links to blogs and others sources of information and commentary about the Court.


http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/.  Discussions about the Court and its cases.

http://scotus.blogspot.com/ Information about pending cases.

http://supremecourtwatch.tpmcafe.com/.  Commentary about current cases and Supreme Court news.

Other Resources

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/help/constRedir.html.  Links to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, later amendments, the Federalist Papers, and other materials.

http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html.  The Declaration of Independence.

http://www.usconstitution.net/. A Comprehensive, annotated on-line guide to the Constitution.

http://www.constitution.org/.  Secondary information about the Constitution.

http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/federalist/.  The Federalist Papers.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed.htm.  The Federalist Papers, Annotated.

http://confinder.richmond.edu/  Links to other Constitutions.

Community Partners