IDRA Newsletter • August 2002 • 

In any society, social change arrives not on its own, but with the toil and dogged persistence of people who have their sight set on a vision. One such person has been Albert H. Kauffman. Noted by Texas Lawyer as one of ten most influential attorneys in Texas, between 1985 to 1995, who created a significant impact, Kauffman has been a dynamic driving force on a myriad of issues in the areas of civil rights and education. (It is also notable that Kauffman was the only civil rights lawyer among the ten.)

With his recent departure from his position as regional counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) to pursue other opportunities and take time to be with his family, IDRA acknowledges and thanks Kauffman for his commitment with this tribute in the IDRA Newsletter.

For more than 20 years, Kauffman worked as an attorney for MALDEF where he took on such issues such as voting rights, employment rights, and education. From 1984 to 1996, Kauffman was a staff attorney for MALDEF, and in 1996 he became regional counsel of the office in San Antonio until April 2002.

Very specifically, IDRA is grateful for the work Kauffman has done in the area of education. Most recognized for his tactical dexterity as legal counsel in the landmark school finance cases in Texas, Kauffman has been a friend, ally and supporter to IDRA in the fight for excellent and equitable education for all children. He has been an occasional contributing writer to the IDRA Newsletter offering explanations and updates on school funding lawsuits, on the Hopwood v. Texas case and others.

Some of Kauffman’s professional milestones in the field of education include: Edgewood, et al. v. Kirby et al.; Ross, et al. v. Eckels, et al.; U.S. v. Texas – PPST; Edgewood, et al. v. Kirby, et al.;Keyes v. Denver Public School; Edgewood v. Meno; LULAC v. Richards; and GI Forum v. TEA.

Kauffman consistently sought different strategies for either improving or strengthening the outcome of his efforts. He worked closely with state legislators and rallied support from other advocacy organizations to address those issues legislatively as well as through the courts.

Kauffman has already made an indelible mark in the pages of history as a litigator in court, as a vocal and unwavering advocate of justice before the media and in the halls of the state Capitol, and as a trusted friend.

Whether it was making elementary and secondary education more accessible to children, defending affirmative action, protecting the rights of voters, workers, and immigrants, or defeating mean-spirited discriminatory practices, such as hate crimes, Kauffman has always fought for Texans. We know that where ever he goes, he will continue to shine brilliantly and inspire others. Thank you, Al; and best of luck.

For protecting and defending the rights of children
and their families, thank you.

On behalf of all of us at IDRA.
Good luck, Al!

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via e-mail at

[©2002, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the August 2002 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]