Kaaryn Gustafson and Mario L. Barnes

University of California Irvine School of Law

Outstanding Scholar Award

2023 Recipients

Professor Mario L. Barnes

Mario L. Barnes, Professor of Law, returned to UCI Law in spring 2022 after serving as the Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law from 2018 to 2021.

Prof. Barnes is a nationally recognized scholar for his research on the legal and social implications of race and gender, primarily in the areas of employment, education, criminal and military law. He is one of the leaders within the school of academics seeking to build stronger connections between empirical studies and Critical Race Theory. He writes and teaches in the areas of criminal law, constitutional law, national security law, and race and the law.

At UCI Law, Prof. Barnes previously served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as the first Dean for Research and Faculty Development. He is currently Co-Director of the Center on Law, Equality and Race (CLEAR).  Before joining UCI Law, he was a faculty member at the University of Miami School of Law.

Prior to his academic career, Prof. Barnes spent 12 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, including service as a prosecutor, defense counsel, special assistant U.S. attorney, and on the commission that investigated the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. His reserve assignments included the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in San Diego, the Navy Inspector General’s Office in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL. He retired from the Navy in 2013, after 23 years of combined active and reserve service.

Prof. Barnes earned his bachelor’s degree (1990) and a J.D. from UC Berkeley (1995), where he was Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the African-American Law & Policy Report (now Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy). He earned an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin (2004), where he was a William H. Hastie Teaching Fellow.

Prof. Barnes is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow of the National Institute of Military Justice. He received the AALS Clyde Ferguson Award in 2015 and was honored with the AALS Derrick A. Bell Jr. Award in 2008.

Professor Kaaryn Gustafson

Professor Kaaryn Gustafson is a UCI Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Community. Her research is interdisciplinary and explores the role of law in remedyingand reinforcinginequality. Over the last decade, she had focused on the expanding administrative overlap between the welfare and criminal justice systems, as well as the experiences of those individuals and families caught in those systems. Her current research explores the history of law in regulating African American families and labor among poor people of various ethnic backgrounds. 

At UCI, she is also a member of the Center for the Study of Cannabis, where she explores the collateral consequences of criminalization, and the UCI Community Resilience Projects, where she serves as a Faculty Advisor. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Law & Society Association (LSA)