The 2019-2020 Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series features an outstanding line-up of judges, lawyers, authors, and academics with expertise in public interest law and policy. The year-long, interdisciplinary series brings to Washington University nationally and internationally prominent experts in such areas as civil rights, racial justice, capital punishment, international human rights, government public service, and pro bono private practice. This popular series is now in its twenty-second year. Each program is free of charge and open to the public. All programs will be held in Anheuser-Busch Hall unless otherwise noted. Most talks provide 1.0 hour of Continuing Legal Education credit unless otherwise noted. For more information, contact Karen Tokarz at 314.935.6414. Parking Information: Visitors are encouraged to review the University parking web site for detailed information about parking on campus.

See below for the upcoming speakers for the 2019-2020 season.

Fall 2019

Nadine Strossen | John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law | New York Law School

"HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship" In conjunction with the Washington University Common Reading Program. Reception and book signing immediately following the talk.

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Nicole Garnett | John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law | University of Notre Dame.

"The Value of Educational Pluralism". In conjunction with the Carver Project, and the 2019 First-Year Common Reading Program

View the recorded presentation here.

Lee Epstein | Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished Professor; Adam Liptak | Journalist, New York Times; and Greg Magarian | Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law

"Constitution Day: 2018-19 Supreme Court Review" Co-sponsored with the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement; the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; and the American Constitution Society.

View the recorded presentation here.

Dan Tokaji | Associate Dean for Faculty and Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Professor of Constitutional Law | Ohio State University,

“Voting Rights, Gerrymandering, and the Uncertain Future of Democracy.” Co-sponsored with the Washington University Weidenbaum Center Forum and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity

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George Sanchez | Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity, and History | University of Southern California

"James E. McLeod Memorial Lecture on Higher Education" In conjunction with the Washington University Center for Humanities

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Diane Orentlicher | Professor of International Law, American University | Former Deputy for War Crimes | U.S. Department of State

"The Role of the ICTY in Understanding War and Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina" In conjunction with the Washington University School of Law Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute Symposium on Bosnian War Crimes, co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity.

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Lara Bazelon | Associate Professor of Law and Director | Criminal Juvenile Justice & Racial Justice Clinical Programs | University of San Francisco

“Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction.” Event is co-sponsored with the Washington University Prison Education Project and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity

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Melissa Murray | Professor of Law and Co-Faculty Director | Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network | NYU

“Sex and the Supreme Court.” Event is co-sponsored with the Washington University Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity, and the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department

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Asma T. Uddin | Senior Scholar | Religious Freedom Center at the Freedom Forum Institute in Washington, DC

“When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom.” Event is sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics

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Pidgeon Pagoni | Intersex Activist and Filmmaker’s

“Increasing Intersex and Non-Binary Awareness.” Event is in conjunction with the Washington University Transgender Conference and is co-sponsored with the Washington University Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department

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Michelle Oberman | Katharine and George Alexander Professor of Law | Santa Clara University

“Her Body, Our Laws: On the Frontlines of the Abortion War from El Salvador to Oklahoma.” Event is in conjunction with the Washington University Global Health Center, Institute for Public Health, Global Health Week and co-sponsored with the Washington University School of Law Whitney Harris World Law Institute; the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department

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Spring 2019

WashULaw PILPSS Speaker Frank Susman

Frank Susman | Member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group at Spencer Fane and a Constitutional Appellate Attorney and of Counsel.

Abortion Litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court: Past and Future. In conjunction with If/When/How Washington University Chapter

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Suerie Moon | Research Director and Co-Chair, Forum on Global Governance for Health, Harvard Global Health Institute

"Global Debates on the Cost of Medicine". Sponsored by the Washington University Global Health Center, Institute for Public Health. Co-sponsored by the Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series and the Weidenbaum Center Forum.

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Melissa Rogers | Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; & Peter Wehner | Senior Fellow, The Ethics and Public Policy Center

"Religion and Polarized Politics: Revitalizing Democratic Pluralism". Sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.

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Sophie Nappert | International Mediator/Arbitrator & Author

"Future Challenges for International Arbitration". In conjunction with the School of Law Harris Institute/Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution Symposium

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Hon. Viviene Harris | Supreme Court of Jamaica

"Celebrating International Women’s Day". In conjunction with the School of Law International Women’s Day celebration.

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Deborah Hensler | Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution and Director, Law & Policy Lab, Stanford Law School

"What's Wrong with Arbitration (And What’s Good About It)". School of Law Dean’s Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

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Sharon McGowan | Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director, Lambda Legal

The Fight to Serve: Challenging Trump’s Transgender Military Ban https://www.lambdalegal.org/about-us/staff/sharon-mcgowan in conjunction with the OUTLaw 14th Annual LGBTQ Rights Conference

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Jean Baker | Prosecuting Attorney, Jackson County, MO; Wesley Bell | STL County Circuit Attorney; Kim Gardner | STL City Circuit Attorney; & Adam Foss | Former Asst District Attorney, Suffolk County, MA

"Prosecutorial Power in Transforming the Criminal Justice System". In conjunction with the Brown School Clark-Fox Policy Institute and the Assembly Series.

Alex Hertel-Fernandez | Assistant Professor, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

"State Capture: How Conservative Activists, Big Businesses, and Wealthy Donors Reshaped the American States–and the Nation".


Public Interest Law and Policy Speakers Series Archive

2018-19 | 2017-18 | 2016-17 | 2015-16