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Martha Escutia
USC Gould School of Law

Martha Escutia

Lecturer in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: January 5, 2022




Former California State Senator Martha Escutia is driven by a passionate belief that preparation and opportunity should be equitably available to all. As the first generation scholar to graduate from high school, college and law school in her immigrant family, Escutia is living proof that education is the great equalizer in American society.

Senator Escutia joined the University of Southern California in 2013, serving as vice president for state government relations and special counsel. She provides the university strategic advice to advance its institutional mission and academic interests.

Prior to joining USC, Senator Escutia focused on her legal practice. From 2010-2013, she was the founding partner of The Senators’ Firm, specializing in legal and regulatory advice. From 2007-2010, Senator Escutia was a partner at the national law firm of Manatt Phelps and Phillips. She was legislative counsel for Proposition 7, an initiative to jumpstart California’s Renewable Energy Portfolio.

During her 14-year legislative career, Senator Escutia became the first woman to chair both the State Assembly and Senate Judiciary committees. She distinguished herself for tackling tough problems and developing innovative solutions to promote broadband access; encourage environmental remedies in transportation and energy infrastructure; banning junk foods from schools; and ensuring the judiciary was accessible to all litigants. The California Supreme Court honored her with its “Commitment to Justice” award for her exemplary service to the law and its citizens. Good Housekeeping Magazine honored her with the “Women in Government Award.”

Senator Escutia volunteers as a guest lecturer in Election Law and Environmental Law at the USC Department of Political Science. She has established mock trial programs in several Eastside high schools, coaching the students to compete at the L.A. County mock trial competitions.

Senator Escutia serves on several nonprofit boards. She was appointed by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2007 as a founding board member of the California Emerging Technology Fund. In 2019, the Speaker of the Assembly appointed her to the Board of Directors of the High Speed Rail Authority.

Senator Escutia received her JD from Georgetown University Law School. Her post-graduate work includes certificates in International Law from the World Court in the Hague, the Netherlands, and the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. She graduated with a BS degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy. 

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

USA Today
November 28, 2022
Re: Elyn Saks

Elyn Saks was interviewed about what schizophrenia really is. "A common misconception is that we're unable to care for ourselves and that's not true," she said. "For some people it is, but not for all of us. We can have relationships –romantic and friendships. But we often don't see that (in the media) because of the emphasis on sensationalism and 'othering' us."

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