Pamela S. Karlan, one of the nation's leading experts on voting and the political process, will present the 2008 John Field Simms/Alumni Association Memorial Lecture at 5:30 p.m. March 6 in the UNM School of Law Forum. CLE credit is available.
The topic of her lecture, "What Can Brown Do for You?" will focus on a current debate about the significance of Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down official racial segregation of public schools. She will tie this debate back into one of the most widely cited pieces of legal scholarship ever written, Herbert Wechsler's 1959 article, "Toward Neutral Principles in Constitutional Law."
Karlan is founding director of Stanford Law School's Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, in which students litigate live cases before the nation's high court. She is co-author of three leading casebooks on constitutional law and related subjects, as well as, more than 48 scholarly articles. She is a widely recognized commentator on legal issues and is frequently featured on programs such as the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Karlan has served as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission and an assistant counsel and cooperating attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1998, she was a professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law and served as a law clerk to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Abraham D. Sofaer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She earned three degrees at Yale University: a J.D., MA and B.A.
The John Field Simms Memorial Lecture was established in 1954 by Albert Simms in memory of his brother, John, who had served on the New Mexico Supreme Court, as a UNM regent and was a highly respected trial lawyer. The UNM School of Law Alumni Association now donates funds annually to support the Simms lecture series, enabling it to be held every other year.
A reception will follow the lecture and parking is free in the L lot.