Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series begins 14th year

School of Law’s annual series kicks off Sept. 6 with Robbennolt lecture

The International Criminal Court, civil rights class actions, gun rights, migration and food security are among topics that will be discussed during the fall lineup for the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law’s 14th annual Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series. The series kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 6, with “Mea Culpa: The Role of Apologies in Legal Decisionmaking” by Jennifer Robbennolt, JD, PhD.

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

Karen L. Tokarz, JD, the Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service and director of the Negotiation and 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 will be at noon in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom of Anheuser-Busch Hall unless otherwise noted.

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 fall schedule:

Tuesday, Sept. 6

Robbennolt, JD, PhD, the Guy Raymond Jones Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois College of Law, is a nationally renowned expert in the areas of psychology and law, torts and dispute resolution.

Her research integrates psychology into the study of law and legal institutions, focusing primarily on legal decision-making and the use of empirical research methodology in law. She is co-author of Empirical Methods in Law as well as the influential casebook Dispute Resolution and Lawyers.

Thursday, Sept. 22

Fatou Bensouda, deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, will speak on “World Peace Through Law.”

Bensouda, a native of The Republic of The Gambia, was elected to her current position in 2004 and is in charge of the prosecution division of the Office of the Prosecutor. Prior to her election, she worked as a legal adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, rising to the position of senior legal adviser and head of the Legal Advisory Unit.

Between 1987 and 2000, she held a number of Gambian government positions, including solicitor general and legal secretary, attorney general and minister of justice, in which capacity she served as chief legal adviser to the president and cabinet.

Tuesday, Oct. 4

Brad Seligman, JD, civil rights attorney specializing in class action and individual employment and civil rights litigation, will present “What Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., v. Dukes Means for Civil Rights Class Actions.”

Seligman is founder of the Impact Fund, which provides financial and technical assistance and representation for complex public interest litigation. He has successfully litigated more than 50 civil rights class actions, including the nationwide class action gender discrimination case against Wal-Mart Stores — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., v. Dukes — the largest civil rights class action ever certified, recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Monday, Oct. 10

Adam Winkler, JD, a specialist in American constitutional law and professor of law at the UCLA School of Law, will deliver “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America” in the trial courtroom, 309 Anheuser-Busch Hall.

Winkler’s wide-ranging scholarship has touched upon a diverse array of topics, such as the right to bear arms, corporate political speech rights, affirmative action, judicial independence, constitutional interpretation, corporate social responsibility, international economic sanctions, and campaign finance law. He is co-editor of the six-volume Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2nd edition), and his book, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, is slated for publication this fall.

Wednesday, Oct. 26

Kent Greenfield, JD, professor of law and Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, will speak on “The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility on a World of Limits.”

The author of The Failure of Corporate Law and the forthcoming The Myth of Choice, Greenfield teaches and writes in the areas of business law, constitutional law, decision-making theory, legal theory and economic analysis of law. He is founder and president of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), an association of three dozen law schools and other academic institutions organized to fight for academic freedom and against discrimination.


Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, JD, PhD, who works at the intersection of law, public policy and political science and is professor of law and the Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School, will present “From Migration to Food Security: Reflections on Law, Policy, and Political Judgment.”

Cuéllar has an extensive record of involvement in public service, serving in both the Obama and Clinton administrations. His research and teaching focus is on administrative law, executive power and how organizations implement regulatory responsibilities involving public health and safety, migration and international security in a changing world.

In July 2010, President Obama appointed him to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent agency charged with improving the efficiency and fairness of federal regulatory programs. He also serves on the Department of Education’s National Commission on Educational Equity and Excellence and the Department of State’s Advisory Sub-Committee on Economic Sanctions. He previously served as special assistant to the president for Justice and Regulatory Policy.