Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series begins Sept. 16

Melvin Oliver opens School of Law lecture series

The fall lineup of the 18th annual Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series, sponsored by the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, kicks off with two lectures Sept. 16-17. The yearlong series brings to the university
nationally and internationally prominent experts from law and related
fields to address issues of access to justice. All lectures are free and open to the public.

“I’m delighted about the interdisciplinary and
international strength in this year’s series,” said Karen L. Tokarz,
JD, the Charles F. Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public
Service, director of the Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program,
and director of the Civil Rights & Community Justice Clinic. Tokarz
is coordinating the series with Gerrit De Geest, JD, vice dean of
scholarship and analytics and the Charles F. Nagel Professor of
International and Comparative Law.

“The fall lineup highlights
issues of social justice, inequality, race and crime, as the law school
partners with schools and departments across the university and with the
Assembly Series to examine these important issues,” Tokarz said. “The
presenters will cover topics that will be of interest to many in the
university and wider community.”

The series opens with a talk by Melvin Oliver, PhD, professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an expert on inequality and race relations in America.

Oliver, who earned a doctorate from the university in 1977, will address “Income and Wealth Inequality” at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 16, in Anheuser-Busch Hall’s Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, followed by a reception in Crowder Courtyard. The talk is presented in conjunction with the Department of Sociology in Arts & Sciences; the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; the Brown School’s Center for Social Development; and the Assembly Series.

Oliver, the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences, executive dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, is best known for his pioneering study with sociologist Thomas Shapiro, PhD, that revealed the deep divide that exists within American culture that keeps African-Americans from receiving the same opportunities as whites for building wealth. The study was published in the 1995 book, updated in 2006, “Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Equality.”

Oliver’s talk is followed by Anup Malani, JD, PhD, the Lee and Brena Freeman Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and professor at the Pritzker School of Medicine. Malani is an expert on law, economics and health care, and co-editor of “The Future of Healthcare Reform in the United States,”

Malani will present “Building Capacity in India: The International Innovation Corps Model ” at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, in Anheuser-Busch Hall’s Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, followed by a reception in Crowder Courtyard. The talk is co-sponsored with the India Initiative; the Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health; the Brown School’s Center for Social Development; the School of Law Office of Graduate and International Programs; the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute; the International Law Society; and the South Asian Law Students Association.

Six additional lectures take place in the series throughout the fall semester. For a complete list, visit