Law school speakers to focus on access to justice

Presentations about Guantanamo and the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy are among the highlights of the School of Law’s tenth annual Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series.

Titled “Access to Justice: The Social Responsibility of Lawyers,” the yearlong series brings to WUSTL nationally and internationally prominent experts in such areas as international human rights, the economics of poverty, racial justice, clinical legal education, government public service and pro bono legal practice.

Series coordinators are Karen L. Tokarz, J.D., professor of law and executive director of clinical education and alternative dispute resolution programs, and Samuel Bagenstos, J.D., professor of law and associate dean for research and faculty development.

All lectures will be held at noon in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall. They are free and open to the public.

Fall semester lectures in the series are:

• Sept. 12 — Muneer Ahmed, J.D., professor of law at American University will discuss “Guantanamo, National Security, and Citizenship,” in conjunction with the University’s Gephardt Institute for Public Service.

Ahmad is an expert in immigrants’ rights, labor, and poverty law. He teaches an international human rights clinic at the law school at American and currently represents Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen detained in Guantanamo. Prior to joining the faculty of American University, Ahmad, was a staff attorney and Skadden Fellow at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles.

Richard A. Gephardt, former U.S. Congressman from Missouri and a two-time presidential candidate, will moderate the discussion. The Gephardt Institute for Public Service endeavors to involve individuals, especially students and seniors, in public service.

Oct. 23 — Antonio G. Agnone, retired captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Eric Alva, retired staff sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, will speak on “The Military Readiness Enhancement Act: Replacing the Military’s Gay Ban with a Policy of Non-Discrimination.”

Agnone graduated at the top of his class from the Marine Corps Engineer School and deployed in Iraq. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for “exceptional leadership, total tactical proficiency and a commitment to excellence.”

Alva, who served in the Marine Corps for 13 years, was the first American service member wounded in the war in Iraq. He has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and has been featured in People magazine and major newspapers. Agnone and Alva are members of the Human Rights Campaign Service Legacy Tour.

Nov. 1 — Reva Siegel, J.D., deputy dean and the Nicholas deB. Katzenback Professor of Law at Yale University, will present the “Woman-Protective Antiabortion Argument after Carhart.”

Siegel is one of the country’s top constitutional and legal history scholars. Her research draws on legal history to explore questions of law and inequality, and to analyze how courts interact with representative government and popular movements in interpreting the Constitution. She is currently co-editing a collection of essays by progressive legal scholars titled Constitution in 2020, and writing about the role of social movement conflict in guiding constitutional change, with special attention to questions of abortion.

Nov. 8 — Bill Ong Hing, J.D., professor of law and Asian-American Studies, and director of the law school clinical program at the University of California, Davis, will speak on “Deporting Our Souls: The Immigration Policy Crisis.”

Hing is a nationally recognized expert on immigration law and race, and author of Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality and Immigration Policy; Making and Remaking Asia America Through Immigration Policy; and To Be An American, Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation. Hing is the founder and general counsel for the Immigrant Resource Center in San Francisco. He is on the board of directors of the Asian Law Caucus and the Migration Policy Institute, and serves on the National Advisory Council of the Asian American Justice Center.

The series continues in the spring with six additional lectures.

For more information, call 935-4958.