Twenty-five years ago, law schools were in the developing stages of a pitched battle for the future of legal education and academia. Faculties fought over the tenure cases of minority candidates, revealing deep divisions within legal academia on questions about the urgency of racial diversification and the merits of critical race scholarship. The students in charge of the law reviews where this scholarship was emerging engaged in their own battles, arguing over the use of affirmative action in the selection of law review editors and then, as neophyte editors, staking their own positions in the "What is legal scholarship?" debates. As students during this period, we could not avoid reflecting on our own attitudes toward the relevance of race in the legal profession and on the value of legal scholarship about race.
Looking back at that time from the perspective of our current positions, we are renewed in our admiration of and appreciation for Professor Matsuda's scholarship. She was a central figure in the then-emergent critical race movement, and her work was a focus in discussions about the field. Through her fearless and unwavering writings, Matsuda helped spur changes in attitude and perspective within legal academia that prepared the way for other scholars of color. Equal to her impact within the academy was the inspiration she provided to a generation of prospective Asian American legal scholars. In her example, we saw the possibility that our voices might be heard inside the enclave of legal academia.