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María Blanco

Executive Director, UC Immigrant Legal Services Center


J.D., UC Berkeley School of Law

B.A., UC Berkeley


María Blanco is Executive Director of the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center, which operates out of UC Davis School of Law to provide immigration-related legal services for undocumented students at the six University of California campuses without law schools: UC Merced, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside.  Launched in November 2014, the Center is a pilot project of the University of California Office of the President and works in collaboration with the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Blanco has more than 20 years’ experience as a litigator and advocate for immigrant rights, women’s rights, and social justice. She most recently served as Vice President of Civic Engagement at the California Community Foundation and led its immigrant integration initiatives.  Blanco has also served as Executive Director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law, as Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, as an Equal Rights Advocates attorney, as associate director and associate professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, and as National Senior Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a member of the Public Policy Institute of California Board of Directors and the California Citizens’ Redistricting Commission.

Subject Areas

Immigration Law And Policy, Education Law, Clinical Legal Education, Detained Immigrants Rights

Selected Career Highlights

  • Vice President, Civic Engagement, California Community Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (2010 – Present)
  • Executive Director, Resident Lecturer, Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, (2007 – 2010)
  • Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco, CA (2003 -2007)
  • Regional and National Senior Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (1998-2003)
  • Associate Director and Associate Professor of Law, Women's Employment Rights Clinic, Golden Gate University School of Law