Peter L. Reich

Lecturer in Law
Academic Director, Law & Communication Intensive

Professor Peter Reich teaches courses and academic support workshops for LL.M. and M.L.S. students, as well as directs the Law & Communication Intensive summer program. He was formerly Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, Director of the Study Abroad Programs in Spain and Mexico, and Director of the Environmental Law Concentration at Whittier Law School.

He has taught Introduction to the American Legal System at the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City), Latin American Law at UC Irvine, and Modern Mexican History at UC Riverside. A former research attorney for the California Court of Appeal in Santa Barbara and associate at the downtown Los Angeles law firm Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara & Samuelian, Professor Reich has published on the legal history and natural resources law of Latin America and the U.S. Southwest.

One of his books, Mexico’s Hidden Revolution: The Catholic Church in Law and Politics Since 1929 (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995), received the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies Hubert Herring Award, and his articles have appeared in journals such as the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, the Environmental Law Reporter, the Oxford University Comparative Law Forum, the UCLA Law Review, and the Washington Law Review. Professor Reich has been a recipient of Fulbright, Huntington Library, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and Social Science Research Council fellowships, and in 2017 his The Law of the United States Mexico Border: A Casebook was published by Carolina Academic Press. He serves on the editorial boards of International Wildlife Law & PolicyWestern Legal History, and California Legal History, and is a past Chair of the AALS Legal History Section.

Professor Reich speaks frequently at academic and professional conferences, and has addressed the Senate of Mexico three times on U.S. water law and federalism. He has coached Whittier’s and UCLA’s student teams in the California State Bar’s Environmental Negotiations Competition, and has litigated cases applying Mexican law in the United States. He also finds time for biking, camping, and sea kayaking with his family and for volunteering in local political campaigns.

Professor Reich earned his B.A. summa cum laude in History from UCLA, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern Latin American History at UCLA, and his J.D. from UC Berkeley, where he was on the Board of Editors for the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.


  • B.A. UCLA, 1976
  • M.A. UCLA, 1977
  • J.D. UC Berkeley, 1985
  • Ph.D. UCLA, 1991


  • The Law of the United States-Mexico Border: A Casebook. Carolina Academic Press (2017).
  • Mexico’s Hidden Revolution: The Catholic Church in Law and Politics Since 1929. Univ. of Notre Dame Press (1995). (Received Hubert Herring Memorial Award from Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies as Ph.D. dissertation, 1991.)
  • Statistical Abstract of the United-States Mexico Borderlands. UCLA Latin American Center Publications (1984).

Articles & Chapters

  • Foreign Relations Between Mexico and the United States in the Nineteenth Century, 1821-1910, 23 (12) PROFMEX WebJournal (Fall 2019). (Received PROFMEX Award for New Interpretation of U.S.-Mexican Relations, 2019.) Full Text
  • What Constitutes an Equitable Water Share? A Reassessment of Equitable Apportionment In the Jordan-Israel Water Agreement 25 Years Later (with Samer Talozi, Amelia Altz-Stamm, and Hussam Hussein), 21 (5) Water Policy 911 (2019). Full Text
  • Relaciones exteriores entre México y Estados Unidos en el siglo XIX, 1821-1910, in Historia binacional México-Estados Unidos, (edited by Patricia Galeana, Secretaría de Cultura/INEHRM/Siglo XXI, 2018). Full Text
  • Border of Water, Border of Law: Río Bravo/Rio Grande Boundary Adjudications Since 1884, 33 Maryland Journal of International Law 205 (2018). Full Text
  • What Happened to Hispanic Natural Resources Law in California?, 13 California Legal History 43 (2018). Full Text
  • El derecho al agua en la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación durante la época posrevolucionaria: 1918-1946, in Estudios de la Suprema Corte de Justicia realizados en Estados Unidos, (SCJN, 2017). Full Text
  • Introduction, Frederick Hall, The Laws of Mexico, A Compilation and Treatise Relating to Real Property, Mines, Water Rights, Personal Rights, Contracts, and Inheritances (1885). Reissued by Lawbook Exchange (2016).
  • Regime Change and Legal Change: The Legacy of Mexico’s Second Empire, 2015 Oxford University Comparative Law Forum 1 (2015). Full Text
  • New Studies in Western Water Law: From Regional to Local Focus, 27 Western Legal History 121 (2014). (Introduction as Guest Editor to Special Issue: Southern California Water – Essays in Honor of Norris Hundley, Jr.).
  • The Historical, Comparative, and Convergence Trifecta in International Water Law: A Mexico-U.S. Example, 43 Environmental Law Reporter 105 (2013). Revised and reprinted in 27 Western Legal History 185 (2014). Full Text
  • The Multidimensional Teaching of Legal History, 53 American Journal of Legal History 470 (2013). Reprinted in Teaching Legal History: Comparative Perspectives (edited by Robert M. Jarvis,  2014).
  • El legado del Segundo Imperio Mexicano en las revistas de jurisprudencia, 1868-1900, in El Imperio napoleónico y la monarquía en México, 367 (edited by Patricia Galeana, Siglo XXI/Senado de la República, 2012).
  • Introduction, John A. Rockwell, A Compilation of Spanish and Mexican Law in Relation to Mines and Titles to Real Estate, in Force in California, Texas and New Mexico (1851).  Reissued by Lawbook Exchange (2011). Full Text
  • California Legal History in the Huntington Library: An Update, 5 California Legal History 323 (2010).
  • Historia de las Instituciones Jurídicas de California y los demás estados del Suroeste Estadounidense. , in Historia de las Instituciones Jurídicas de los Estados de la República Mexicana, 69 (edited by Patricia Galeana & Daniel Barceló, UNAM/Senado de la República, 2010). Full Text
  • El constitucionalismo mexicano en la constitución y derecho de aguas de California, in El constitucionalismo mexicano: influencias continentales y trasatlánticas, 63 (edited by Patricia Galeana, Siglo XXI/Senado de la República, 2010).
  • Recent Research on the Legal History of Modern Mexico, 23 Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 181 (2007). Full Text
  • Siete Partidas in My Saddlebags: The Transmission of Hispanic Law from Antebellum Louisiana to Texas and California, 22 Tulane European and Civil Law Forum 79 (2007). Full Text
  • Dismantling the Pueblo: Hispanic Municipal Land Rights in California Since 1850, 45 American Journal of Legal History 352 (2004). Full Text
  • Western Courts and the Privatization of Hispanic Mineral Rights Since 1850: An Alchemy of Title, 23 Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 57 (1998). Full Text
  • Sources for Judging Judges: State Supreme Court Archives in the Southwest, 10 Western Legal History 79 (1997).
  • The Mexican Catholic Church and Constitutional Change Since 1929, 60 The Historian 77 (Fall 1997).
  • Studies in Western Water Law: Historiographical Trends, 9 Western Legal History 1 (1996). (Introduction as Guest Editor to Special Issue: Western Water Law.)
  • Environmental Metaphor in the Alien Benefits Debate, 42 UCLA Law Review 1577 (1995). Full Text
  • The ‘Hispanic’ Roots of Prior Appropriation in Arizona, 27 Arizona State Law Journal 649 (1995). Full Text
  • Mission Revival Jurisprudence: State Courts and Hispanic Water Law Since 1850, 69 Washington Law Review 869 (1994). (Received Ray Allen Billington Award from Western History Association, 1995.) Full Text
  • Greening the Ghetto: A Theory of Environmental Race Discrimination, 41 Univ. of Kansas Law Review 271 (1992). Reprinted in 2 Environmental Law Anthology (1993). Full Text
  • Jurisprudential Tradition and Undocumented Alien Entitlements, 6 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 1 (1992). Full Text
  • Public Benefits for Undocumented Aliens: State Law into the Breach Once More, 21 New Mexico Law Review (1991). Full Text
  • Algunos archivos para el estudio de la historia eclesiástica mexicana en el siglo XX, 30 Historia Mexicana 126 (1980).

Book Reviews

  • Book Review, 10 California Legal History 506 (2015). Review of Golden Rules: The Origins of California Water Law in the Gold Rush, by Mark Kanazawa. Full Text
  • Book Review, 1 Comparative Legal History 144 (2013). Review of Florida’s First Constitution, the Constitution of Cádiz: Introduction, Translation, and Text, by M.C. Mirow. Full Text
  • Book Review, 43 Western Historical Quarterly 371 (2012). Review of Spaces of Law in American Foreign Relations: Extradition and Extraterritoriality in the Borderlands and Beyond, 1877-1898, by Daniel S. Margolies. Full Text
  • Book Review, 93 Catholic Historical Review 455 (2007). Review of American Catholics and the Mexican Revolution, 1924-36, by Matthew A. Redinger.
  • Book Review, 24 Law and History Review 237 (2006). Review of Latin American Law: A History of Private Law and Institutions in Spanish America, by M.C. Mirow.
  • Book Review, 46 American Journal of Legal History 111 (2004). Review of Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict over Land in the American West, 1840-1900, by Maria E. Montoya.
  • Book Review, 90 Catholic Historical Review 834 (2004). Review of Church and State Education in Revolutionary Mexico City, by Patience A. Schell.
  • Book Review, 65 Pacific Historical Review 663 (Nov. 1996). Review of The Legal Culture of Northern New Spain, 1700-1810, by Charles R. Cutter.
  • Book Review, 63 Hispanic American Historical Review 613 (Aug. 1983). Review of The Holy War in Los Altos: A Regional Analysis of Mexico’s Cristero Rebellion, by Jim Tuck. Full Text
  • Quantitative Developments in Latin American Studies: A Review of Some Recent Literature, 12 Historical Methods 169 (Fall 1979).