Law school lecture series in its 13th season

Muslim pacifist opens popular ‘Access to Justice’ series

Internationally known human rights attorney and Washington University in St. Louis alumnus Arsalan Iftikhar, JD, also known as “The Muslim Guy,” will address the timely topic of “Islamic Pacifism” as the next speaker in the annual School of Law Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series, titled “Access to Justice.”

This popular series, now in its 13th year, runs from fall 2010 through spring 2011 and includes nationally prominent lawyers, academics, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists with expertise in human rights, environmental justice, death penalty, social justice, and free speech and fair use online.

Bridgette Carr, JD, director of the University of Michigan Law School Human Trafficking Clinic, kicked off the series Aug. 31 with her presentation on “Examining the Realities of Exploited Children and Child Trafficking in the U.S.”

Karen L. Tokarz, JD, the Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service and director of the Dispute Resolution Program, coordinates the series in conjunction with Laura Rosenbury, JD, associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law.

All lectures take place at noon in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall, with the exception of the Oct. 4 and Nov. 30 events, to be held at 4 p.m. in Graham Chapel.

The speaker series is free and open to the public. Attendance earns one MCLE credit hour.

For more information, call (314) 935-8598 or visit

The schedule:

Sept. 14. Iftikhar, a 2003 graduate of the School of Law, is co-sponsored by the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, International Law Society, the Muslim Law Student Association and the Assembly Series.

He can be heard weekly on National Public Radio as a political pundit and legal analyst. His blog,, is a respected source for insights on Islamic law and policy issues. He practices law in Washington, DC.

Sept. 16. T. J. Stiles, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, will expound upon “The Tyrants of Modern Society: Cornelius Vanderbilt and the Rise of the Modern Corporation and Modern Capitalism,” in conjunction with the release of his latest book, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The talk, co-sponsored by the Law & Culture Initiative, serves as a memorial ceremony for Stanley Goldstein, JD ’59, who passed away this summer.

Immediately following the lecture, Stiles will sign copies of his award-winning book about Vanderbilt, a 19th-century business genius known for his contributions to the growth and development of the American corporation and American capitalism.

Sept. 23. Kevin Washburn, JD, dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, will speak about “Improving Criminal Justice for American Indians.” Co-sponsoring his appearance are the Native American Student Association, the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at the Brown School and the Assembly Series.

Washburn, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, is one of the country’s top experts on American Indian law and policy, former general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission, and a policy contributor to the new Tribal Law & Order Act passed by Congress this past spring.

Oct. 4. Nicholas Kristof, JD, The New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning op-ed columnist, will speak on the topic “Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” His lecture is co-sponsored by the Assembly Series, the Brown School and the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program.

Kristof is internationally renowned for human rights reporting that has spanned six continents and garnered him multiple awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism, both in collaboration with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn.

Nov. 4. Dawn Johnsen, JD, professor of law at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law and nationally recognized constitutional law expert, explores “Reflections on Promoting Liberty and the Rule of Law.” Her talk is co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.

Johnsen serves on the national board of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and co-chairs its issue group on separation of powers and federalism. A former legal director for the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League who served in the administration of President Bill Clinton, Johnsen’s research centers on the areas of separation of powers and civil liberties, with an emphasis on reproductive rights.

Nov. 30. Van Jones, JD, distinguished visiting fellow in the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will speak about “Beyond Green Jobs: The Next American Economy.”

The key coordinating groups are the Green Action undergraduate student group and the law school Law & Culture Initiative. Also co-sponsoring his lecture are the Assembly Series, the Energy & Environmental Law Society and Black Law Student Association.

In 2009, Jones served as President Barack Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The series continues in the spring with three lectures.