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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of History

Degree Programs

Faculty & Staff

Tom I. Romero, II

Elizabeth Escobedo

Associated Faculty
455J Sturm College of Law
Phone: 303-871-7784


Legal History, History of the American West, History of Racial Formation, and Urban History


Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2004
J.D., University of Michigan 2000


I am an Associate Professor in the Sturm College of Law where I teach and research in the areas of the legal history of the American West, Latinos and the law, school desegregation in multiracial contexts, property, land use, water law, and urban development and local government in the United States.  I am a native Denverite and an undergraduate alum of the Department of History and the Program in Public Affairs from the University of Denver.

Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2010, I was a Professor of Law and History at Hamline University School of Law.  From 2000-2003, I also served as the Western Legal Studies Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Center of the American West, Law School and Department of History.  There, I completed a statewide survey of resources related to the legal history of Colorado and wrote a regular "Historical Perspectives" column for the state bar journal, The Colorado Lawyer.  I also spent time in Lima, Peru as a consultant on 19th century American property law for Hernando De Soto in his book: The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.

Among my legal history work, I am revising a book manuscript on multiracial formation and the law in post-World War II Denver, Colorado; where among other aspect of the analysis, I extensively explore Keyes v. School Board No. One, 413 US 189 (1973) and its importance as the first non-Southern school desegregation case to reach the United States Supreme Court.  I am also working on two projects related to formation and implementation of the education clause in the Colorado Constitution in the 19th century and the historical role of the Denver Water Board in contributing to civic engagement and social exclusion in the 20th century metropolis.