School of Law’s 10th annual “Access to Justice” speaker series continues

Two nationally recognized law professors who served on the legal team representing Anita Hill during the Justice Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and the author of “Guantanamo: What the World Should Know” are part of the spring lineup for the School of Law’s 10th annual Public Interest Law and 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 unless otherwise noted. They are free and open to the public.

The schedule:

• 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 — Emma Coleman Jordan, J.D., professor of law at Georgetown University, will discuss “Wealth and Inequality: Thinking About Communities and Individualism.” Jordan is the 2008 Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Speaker.

Jordan is an expert in social and economic justice, civil rights and commercial law. Her most recent book, “Economic Justice: Race, Gender, Identity and Economics,” is co-authored with Angela Harris.

Jordan was co-counsel to Anita Hill during the Justice Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and is co-author of “Race, Gender and Power in America” with Hill.

• 11 a.m. Feb. 6 in Graham Chapel — Leon Kass, M.D., Ph.D., the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the College at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute, will present “Brave New Biology: The Challenge for Bioethics.” This lecture also is part of the University’s Assembly Series.

Kass, former chair of the President’s Council on Bioethics, has been engaged for more than 30 years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advance, and, more recently, with broader moral and cultural issues.

He has written numerous books such as “Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics” and “The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis.”

• Feb. 21 — Abbe Smith, J.D., professor of law and co-director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program at Georgetown University, will speak about “Representing the Wrongly Accused: The High Horse of Innocence.”

Smith teaches and writes in the areas of criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice and clinical legal education. She is the author (with Monroe H. Freedman) of “Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics.”

Smith served as a trial attorney with the Defender Association of Philadelphia and continues to be actively engaged in criminal law practice and frequently presents at public defender and legal aid training programs.

• March 4 — Charles Ogletree, J.D., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University, will discuss “Race and the Roberts Court.” This lecture also is part of the University’s Assembly Series.

Ogletree, a University Distinguished Visiting Scholar, is a nationally recognized civil rights professor and attorney who writes about and litigates cases aimed at securing the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law.

Ogletree is the author of “All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education” and the co-author of the award-winning book, “Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities.”

Ogletree co-represented Anita Hill during the Senate Confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. His reflections on those experiences are contained in “The People vs. Anita Hill: The Case for Client-Centered Advocacy,” a chapter of Emma Jordan’s and Anita Hill’s book, “Race, Gender and Power in America.”

• March 28 — Mary Bauer, J.D., director of the Immigration Justice Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), will present “Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the U.S.”

Founded in 1971, the SPLC is a civil rights organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights of minorities, the poor and victims of injustice in significant civil rights and social justice matters.

The SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project represents low-income immigrant workers in litigation across the Southeast.

• April 1 — Michael Ratner, J.D., president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), will speak on “Destroying Democracy: The War on Terrorism, the Guantanamo Prisoners, Military Commissions, and Torture.”

Ratner is one of the country’s foremost defenders of human rights and civil liberties. He has led the fight to demand due process for Guantanamo detainees, adequate safeguards against intrusive government surveillance and an end to torture and extraordinary rendition.

In his book “Guantanamo: What the World Should Know,” Ratner provides an authoritative account of what Guantanamo means for the rule of law, for liberty, democracy and the right to dissent.

In addition to his work at the CCR, Ratner has also been lecturer of international human rights litigation at the Yale Law School and the Columbia School of Law, president of the National Lawyers Guild and special counsel to Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to assist in the prosecution of human rights crimes.

For more information, call 935-4958.