Carl Hernandez III

Professor of Law

Carl Hernandez teaches constitutional litigation, fundamental lawyering skills and clinical practice courses for legislation, criminal prosecution and defense, immigration, government practice and nonprofit practice offered by the law school. His interest in government and community development comes from his public service with local legislative bodies and non-profit organizations as well as his practice as a government lawyer.

Professor Hernandez has experience representing local government agencies on a range of issues including civil rights litigation, land use planning, governmental reorganizations, public contracts and eminent domain and water law. He has also represented private clients on immigration issues including asylum, victims of crimes and trafficking, residency and investment-based visas.

Carl Hernandez III became BYU's first vice president for belonging in June 2022.

Hernandez served on BYU’s Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging (CoREB) and was also a law professor at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Hernandez credits a visit to his family by two missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with changing his life at 14. He went on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees and then a Juris Doctor from BYU.

He served as an assistant dean at the BYU law school for more than 10 years. He has taught civil rights, community lawyering, fundamental lawyering skills and clinical practice courses for legislation, criminal prosecution and defense, immigration, government practice and nonprofit practice.

He was the 2019 recipient of the BYU Karl G. Maeser Professional Faculty Excellence Award and the J. Reuben Clark Professor of the Year Award in 2018.

Partnering with the Church of Jesus Christ, Hernandez founded the BYU Community Legal Clinic, which provides pro bono legal services to immigrants, refugees and other marginalized communities, and he has served as its director since 2017.

Courses Taught

  • BYU Community Legal Clinic
  • Centro Hispano Clinical Alliance
  • Civil Rights
  • Civil Rights Practicum--State and Local
  • Civil Rights Skills Lab
  • Civil Rights Skills Practicum
  • Community & Economic Dev Clinical Alliance
  • Community & Economic Dev Rep
  • Community & Economic Development Clinical
  • Community and Economic Development Alliance
  • Community and Economic Development Law
  • Community Lawyering
  • Corporate Counsel Clinical Alliance
  • Crim Prosecution & Defense Clinical Alliance
  • Externship (prior approval)
  • Externship (Washington Seminar Only)
  • Fundamental Lawyering Skills
  • Government & Legislative Clinical
  • Government & Legislative Clinical Alliance
  • Government and Legislative Clinical Alliance
  • Government and Legislative Representation
  • Government Practice Clinical Alliance
  • Justice Court Clinical Alliance
  • Legislative Clinic I
  • Legislative Clinic II
  • Legislative Clinical Alliance
  • Litigation Clinical Alliance
  • SEC Clinical Alliance


  • B.A., Brigham Young University
  • M.A., Brigham Young University
  • J.D., Brigham Young University
  • Note, Legitimate Exercise of Parens Patriae Doctrine: State Power to Determine an Incompetent Individual’s “Right to Die” After Cruzan, 6 BYU Journal of Public Law 167 (1992).
  • Coauthor, Breaking the Fiscal Impasse: Alternative Financing Methods for Financing Municipal Compliance with the Clean Water Act of 1987League of California Cities, April 1992.
  • Associate Professor of Law, BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School, 2013-Present
  • Assistant Dean and Faculty Member, BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School, 2001-2013
  • Adjunct Faculty, Romney Institute of Public Management, BYU (2002-Present)
  • Private Law Practice and Consulting, 2001-Present
  • Assistant/Deputy City Attorney, City of Bakersfield, CA (1994-2001)
  • Associate Attorney and Law Clerk, McCormick, Kabot, Michner & Foley, Visalia, CA (1991-1994)