Public Interest Law and Policy Speakers

WashULaw - PIPLSS - Dean Strang

2016-2017 Speakers

The 2016-17 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. Initiated by the Clinical Education Program in 1998 as part of the 25th anniversary of the program, this popular series is now in its nineteenth year.

Each program is free of charge and open to the public. Each talk will be in Anheuser-Busch Hall, unless otherwise noted. Most talks provide MCLE 1.0. For more information, contact Karen Tokarz at 314.935.6414 or Parking Information: Visitors are encouraged to use the Danforth University Center underground parking garage located on campus. For directions, see Campus Map. 


The spring 2017 information has been moved to the WashULaw event website, please click here to view the new schedule. 

MCLE 1.0 hour was provided for presentations by Romney, Feldblum, Sands and Birdthistle. Videos of speakers will be posted on the web page when available. Popup blockers will interfere with streaming video. Links will open in a new window. In the absence of a link, there is currently no information available online.

FALL 2016

MCLE 1.0 hour was provided for presentations by Hollis, Jones, Strang, Patel/Inazu, Iftikhar, Lopez, and Minter. Videos of speakers will be posted on this web page when available. Popup blockers will interfere with streaming video. Links will open in a new window. In the absence of a link below, there is currently no information available online.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Brenda Hollis

Speaker: BRENDA HOLLIS | Chief Prosecutor, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone
Topic: International Criminal Law: A View from the Trenches - The Accidental Jurist  
Co-Sponsors:  Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, International Law Student Association
Video: [view]

Monday, September 12, 2016

Van Jones  Speaker: VAN JONES  | President, Dream Corps
Topic:  Green Jobs, Not Jail: Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Equity, and the Green Economy
Co-Sponsors:  Washington University Student Union Sustainability Lecture Series, in conjunction with the Office of Sustainability, Environmental Studies Program, Assembly Series, and Law, Identity & Culture Initiative; and U.S. Green Building Council

Friday, September 16, 2016

Jared Bernstein  Speaker: JARED BERNSTEIN | Keynote Speaker, Conference on Grand Challenges in Social Work Policy; Senior Fellow, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities; Former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden
Topic: Social Innovation for America's Renewal
Co-Sponsors:  Brown School Center for Social Development, American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, Brookings Institution, Society for Social Work & Research, Fund for Social Policy Education & Practice, the Federal Reserve Bank St. Louis, and the Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dean Strang   Speaker: DEAN STRANG | Defense Attorney for Steven Avery, "Making a Murderer" (Netflix); Author, Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror (2013)
Topic: Considering Systemic Injustice in Light of "Making a Murderer": The Need for Criminal Justice Reform in America
Co-Sponsors:  Assembly Series; Olin Business School

Monday, September 26, 2016

Brittany Packnett  Speaker: BRITTANY PACKNETT | VP of National Community Alliances for Teach For America
Topic: Between the World and You: Our Duty to Fight for Freedom
Co-Sponsors:  Assembly Series; First Year Book Program

Monday, October 10, 2016

Eboo Patel   Speaker: EBOO PATEL | Founder, Interfaith Youth Core; Author, "Interfaith Leadership" (2016) and "Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America" (2012) [with JOHN INAZU, Professor of Law, Author, "Liberty: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly" (2012) and "Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference" (2016)]
Topic: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America
Co-Sponsors:  Washington University Center for Diversity and Inclusion, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement & Institutional Diversity, American Constitution Society, Federalist Society, Saudi Student Association, and Middle Eastern Law Student Association
Video: [view]

Friday, October 14, 2016

Imani Perry   Speaker: IMANI PERRY | Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University
Topic: Looking for Lorraine (Hansberry): The Enduring Legacy of a Path-Breaking Playwright
Co-Sponsors:  Keynote Speaker, Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship, 25th Anniversary Celebration and Alumni Reunion
Video: [view]

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Douglas McAdam   Speaker: DOUGLAS MCADAM | Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
Topic: What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been: Race, Social Movements, and the 2016 Presidential Race
Co-Sponsors:  Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy; the Department of Sociology
Video: [view]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Arsalan Iftikhar   Speaker: ARSALAN IFTIKHAR | WU BA '99, JD '03
Founder,; Senior Editor, The Islamic Monthly; Weekly Commentator, National Public Radio
Topic: Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies & Threatens Our Freedom
Co-Sponsors:  Rabbi Isserman Lecture; Assembly Series, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, Office of Residential Life, American Constitution Society, Federalist Society, Saudi Student Association, and Middle Eastern Law Student Association
Video: [view]

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

David Lopez   Speaker: DAVID LOPEZ | General Counsel, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Topic: Title VII: An American Conversation on Workplace Equality
Co-Sponsors: Latin American Law Student Association, Black Law Students Association, Labor & Employment Law Society, Public Service Advisory Board, and OUTLaw
Video: [view]

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tom Maier 
Michelle Ashford 
Speaker:  TOM MAIER | Author, "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How to Love"
MICHELLE ASHFORD | Creator and Show Runner, Showtime Series," Masters of Sex"

Topic: Sex in America, Then and Now: The Lasting Legacy of Masters and Johnson 
Co-Sponsors: Assembly Series, Woman's Club of WU, Arts & Sciences' Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Medical Humanities Program, Brown School, School of Medicine, Health Promotion Services/ Peer Health Educators, J-CUBES, Phi Lambda Psi, and WU Political Review
Video: [view]


Friday, November 4, 2016

Shannon Price Minter   Speaker: SHANNON PRICE MINTER | Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Topic: New Social and Legal Approaches to Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Children and Youth
Co-Sponsors: Keynote Speaker, 2016 Transgender Spectrum Conference; Washington University Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Brown School of Social Work, Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Diversity, Law, Identity & Culture Initiative, Institute of Public Health, School of Medicine, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Department of Surgery, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the School of Law; University of Missouri- St. Louis Gender Studies Department; University of Illinois-Springfield Diversity Center and LGBTQIA Resource Office; and PROMO
Video: [view]


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

IAN GERSHENGORN   IAN GERSHENGORN | Acting Solicitor General of the United States
Topic: A view of the Solicitor General’s powerful role in representing the government before the U.S. Supreme Court and in shaping important public policy.
Co-Sponsors: The Mel and Pamela Brown Family Distinguished Visitor
Video: [view]

Questions? Contact

Karen Tokarz at 314.935.6414 or 

Previous Years Speakers [view]