Oscar J. Salinas

Print This Page (PDF) Director, Academic Excellence Program and Clinical Associate Professor of Law


  • M.A., Counseling, University of Texas at San Antonio (2007)
  • J.D. (Cum Laude), University of Dayton (1999)
  • B.A., Psychology & Philosophy (Summa Cum Laude), Saint Mary's University (Texas) (1996)

A native of South Texas, O.J. Salinas is the first Hispanic to hold a full-time faculty position at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He teaches experiential courses, like legal research and writing and negotiations, and he is the faculty coach for the Client Counseling teams and the Hispanic/Latino Law Students' Association Moot Court Teams. In 2017, UNC Law awarded Professor Salinas the Charles E. Daye Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. He was also awarded the Frederick B. McCall Award for Teaching Excellence by the graduating Class of 2017.

Professor Salinas is actively involved in law school academic success, and he serves as the Director of the law school's Academic Excellence Program. As Director, Salinas helps run the first-year pre-orientation program, oversees the 1L Enrichment and Oral Advocacy Enrichment Groups, and provides one-on-one counseling to students at Carolina Law. Salinas is also the Senior Editor for the Law School Academic Success website (www.lawschoolasp.org).

Professor Salinas graduated Cum Laude from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1999, where he was a Thurgood Marshall Scholar. He was an Associate Editor for the Dayton Law Review, participated on the Moot Court team, and was an intraschool Moot Court Champion.

Following law school, Professor Salinas practiced civil litigation in Texas. He was also a Lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Salinas also received a Master’s Degree in Counseling from UTSA, where he worked with individuals suffering from severe mental illness to students seeking educational academic support.

Professor Salinas is the author of  A Short and Happy Guide to Effective Client Interviewing and Counseling  (West 2016).

Recent Presentations

Participated in a panel at the 2017 CAPALF and Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference in Brooklyn, New York.  Panel topic:  Pathways to Teaching Experiential Courses.

Presented at the 2017 Association of Academic Support Educators in Ft. Worth, Texas.  Presentation topic:   Educators, Attorneys, and Counselors--Oh My! (A Workshop on Enhancing our ASP Counseling Skills). 

Moderated a discussion at the 2017 Carolinas Colloquium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Presentation topic:  Being in the Room Where it Happens--A Conversation about the Conversations LRW Faculty have with Students in Individual Conferences.

Presented at the 2016 Association of Academic Support Educators in New York City. Presentation topic: Growing National Problem--Diversity and Inclusion at our Law Schools: What Can We Do to Help Foster a Supportive Learning Environment for ALL of Our Students?

Presented on the academic success panel at the 2015 Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) conference in Boca Raton, Florida. Presentation topic: Fostering a Supportive Environment to Enhance Learning In and Out of the Law School Classroom.

Presented at the 2015 Association of Academic Support Educators in Chicago, Illinois. Presentation topic: Help Light (or Brighten) the Light Bulb: Use of Oral Presentations and Client Interviews to Reach a Variety of Learners.

Presented at the 2015 Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference in Durham, North Carolina. Presentation topic: Connecting the Work of Clinicians, Legal Writing Professors, and Practicing Attorneys to Prepare Students for Law Practice.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

Show All Publications

  • Beyond the Socratic Class: Helping Prepare Practice-Ready Students by Incorporating Client Interviews in the 1L LRW Class, THE LEARNING CURVE (AALS Section on Academic Support), Summer 2015.
  • Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Maintaining the Foundation of Strong Individual Professional Development, THE LEARNING CURVE (AALS Section on Academic Support), Winter 2014 at 12. [SSRN, Document Link]
  • Law School Learning Communities: A Community of Learners for the Benefit of All Learners, 19 THE LAW TEACHER 28 (Fall 2012). [SSRN, Hein, Document Link (PDF)]
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