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Speaker Series

The Clason Series

  • What is the Clason Series?

    Since 1988 the Clason Speaker Series has provided a venue for legal experts to present works in progress on current legal topics through lectures to the Western New England University School of Law community. Insightful, thought-provoking, and a source of lively discussion, the Clason Speaker Series provides a valuable forum for the discussion of current topics in the legal academy. All lectures are held during the lunch hour in the Law School Common.  Open to students, alumni, the University community, and the general public.

  • History

    The series is named after Charles R. Clason, a prominent local attorney and member of the U.S. House of Representatives who held the position of Dean of the School of Law from 1954 to 1970. At that time, Western New England University provided part-time legal education only. During Clason’s tenure all classroom instruction was provided by adjunct faculty who were eminent practitioners of the law. Clason worked to ensure that the faculty developed as academicians, while not forsaking their mission to provide practical legal education.

    A resident of Springfield, Clason spent most of the 1920s in the Western Massachusetts District Attorney’s office, first as an Assistant District Attorney, then as District Attorney. A Republican, Clason represented the Second Congressional District of Massachusetts from 1936 to 1948. He was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree in 1970 in recognition of his many years of educational service to Western New England University. Clason passed away in 1985 at the age of 94.

    Today, the School of Law is an ABA-accredited, AALS-member institution, and Clason lives on through the Charles and Emma Clason Endowment Fund, which provides for speakers who enhance the academic environment for faculty and students.

Clason Speakers

April 8, 2019
Kathryne M. Young: How to Be-Sort of- Happy in Law School (View Flyer)
Professor Young works at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches courses on policing, evidence, law and society, and social psychology. She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2011 and her Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University in 2014. "How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School" is Professor Young’s first book, and was named one of Above the Law’s “Distinguished Dozen” legal books of 2018.

April 3, 2019
Karen Kendra Holmes and Kylar Broadus: Transgender Military Ban - Organizing Marginalized Communities of Color (View Flyer)
Karen Kendra Holmes works for the Federal Government as a Safety Officer and is a strong advocate for the Transgender Community. She has received numerous awards for her advocacy and service.
Kylar Broadus is the senior public policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force and the director of the organization’s Transgender Civil Rights Project, as well as the founder of the Missouri-based Trans People of Color Coalition.

February 25, 2019
Arthur Miller: What are Courts For? (View Flyer)
Arthur R. Miller LL.B., CBE, is one of the nation’s most distinguished legal scholars in the areas of civil litigation, copyright, unfair competition, and privacy. Miller joined NYU School of Law from Harvard Law School, where he not only earned his law degree but also taught for 36 years. A renowned commentator on law and society, he won an Emmy for his work on PBS’s The Constitution: That Delicate Balance and served for two decades as the legal editor for ABC’s Good Morning America.

November 7, 2018
John Tingle: Global Patient Safety Law, Policy, and Practice-With Particular Focus on Developing and Transitioning Countries (View Flyer)
Professor Tingle is an Associate Professor at Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University in the UK. He has a fortnightly magazine column in the British Journal of Nursing where he focuses on patient safety and the legal aspects of nursing and medicine.

October 24, 2018
Annette M. Martinez-Orabona, Esq.: "(Un)Natural Disasters and Human Rights: Hurricane Maria and the Politics of Disaster in Puerto Rico" (View Flyer)
Professor Martinez-Orabona is the Director for the Caribbean Institute for Human Rights and Clinical Professor of Law at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

October 14, 2016
Gender and Incarceration Symposium
– sponsored by the Western New England Law Review & Clason Speaker Series (view flyer)
The Gender and Incarceration Symposium featured an interdisciplinary discussion related to contemporary issues facing incarcerated individuals, such as parental rights of incarcerated people, treatment of transgender inmates, sexuality-based segregation, sexual violence, pregnancy, solitary confinement, and the intersection of race and gender in confinement.

January 28, 2016
Martha M. Ertman: "Love and Contracts"

Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor, University of Maryland School of Law
Professor Ertman teaches Contracts, Commercial Law, and Contract Drafting courses and writes about the role of contracts in family relationships, homemaking labor, reproductive technologies, and polygamy.

February 22, 2016
Danielle Bessett: "Sociology and the Law: Collaborating to Improve Abortion Access"

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women's Gender, And Sexuality Studies, University of Cincinnati

September 22, 2015
Katharine B. Silbaugh: "
Reactive to Proactive: Title IX's Unrealized Capacity to Prevent Campus Sexual Assault"
Professor of Law, Boston University
Professor Silbaugh is an expert on gender, family care, and household labor, as well as various topics in education law such as testing, bullying, and Title IX.

October 13, 2015
C. Thomas Brown: "Litigating Marriage Equality: A Law Firm Attorney's Role in Obergefell v. Hodges"
Senior Associate, Ropes & Gray, Boston, MA
Attorney Brown specializes in Federal securities law, mergers and acquisitions law, and other complex transactional matters.

October 26, 2015 
Dr. Christina M. Greer:"Race, Gender and American Democracy" Professor of Political Science, Fordham University
Professor Greer's research and teaching focus on American politics, black ethnic politics, urban politics, quantitative methods, and public opinion. She is the author of Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.

2014-2015 SPEAKERS

2013-2014 Speakers

  • February 10, 2014
    Peter Wagner L'03: "Overdosing on Prisons: Tackling the Side Effects of the United States’ Globally Unprecedented Use of the Prison"
    Executive Director, Prison Policy Initiative
    Many people intuitively understand how prison and jail might be harmful for the 2.2 million people behind bars; and a growing number of people are coming to understand how the prison system also punishes families and communities. But often left unaddressed is how the political decision to lock up 1% of out adult population harms our entire society. Peter Wagner L’03, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative, will discuss the hidden costs of mass incarceration for our democracy, our economy, and public safety. Wagner cofounded the Prison Policy Initiative in 2001 to build a Western New England independent study project into a national movement against prison gerrymandering. So far, his efforts have led to legislation protecting our democracy from the prison system in four states, including in Maryland where the law he helped write was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
  • March 26, 2014
    Jared D. Correia, Esq: "Firm Foundations: Managing the Small Firm and Individual Practitioner"
    Assistant Director and Senior Law Practice Advisor at LOMAP
    Jared D. Correia, Esq. is the Assistant Director and Senior Law Practice Advisor at LOMAP. Before joining LOMAP, Jared managed CLE publications and the Casemaker research engine for              the Massachusetts Bar Association. He has also been a practicing lawyer in small firms where he mostly focused on personal injury, real estate, and disability law. Jared is a frequent speaker for local,  regional, and national lawyers’ groups. He is a regular contributor to local and national legal publications, including Attorney at Work, which includes his monthly column, “Managing”. Jared is the author of the American Bar Association publication “Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers”. He is featured on a quarterly podcast at Solo Practice University. Jared presented at ABA TECHSHOW 2013 on remote access and social media marketing.
  • November 14, 2013
    Robin Craig: "New Directions in State Public Trust Doctrines in a Climate Change Era"
    Professor of Law, S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah  
    Professor Craig will give a quick overview of the basics of the public trust doctrine and discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court's apparently final—but still problematic—abdication of public trust doctrine authority to the states in PPL Montana v. Montana. She will then look at the different directions states are going with their public trust doctrines, including the ecological public trust doctrines and the very new atmospheric public trust doctrines, and end with a brief look at how these new and expanded public trust doctrines might help us cope with climate change.
  • October 16, 2013
    Karl S. Coplan: "The Climate Activism Model: Civil Rights, Prohibition, or Abolition?”
    Professor of Law, Pace Law School  
    The radical economic and social changes necessary to address global warming are expected to be driven by law and legal institutions, says Professor Coplan, but law-driven social changes of this magnitude, while not unprecedented, are scarce. Today’s climate activist model resembles the civil rights movement of the 1960s and also the temperance and prohibition movements. And a successful shift to a carbon-free economy might resemble the abolition of slavery more than any of these.
  • September 23, 2013
    Michael B. Gerrard: "Can the Law Save Island Nations from Drowning?” Professor of Law, Columbia School of Law
    Around the world, but especially in the Pacific, the habitability and, eventually, the very survival of several small island nations are threatened by rising seas, largely as a result of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Professor Gerrard will address the international and domestic legal mechanisms that exist or can be imagined to help these nations, and to deal with the expected international refugee crises.


  • April 5, 2013
    Professor Wadie Said
    University of South Carolina School of Law
        Taking a page from his forthcoming monograph, The Criminal Terrorist Prosecution (Oxford University Press), Professor Said explored the phenomenon of the modern terrorist prosecution. Noting its evolution over time, particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks, he focused on the ways federal courts have shifted the law in favor of prosecution, creating a kind of terrorist exception to the normal rules of criminal prosecution.
  • March 12, 2013
    Professor Penelope Andrews
    President and Dean, Albany Law School
    "Conditional Interdependence and Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights"
    Speaking about the topics raised in her recent book, From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights, Dean Andrews explored ways to approach gender equality and women’s human rights in an array of political, legal, and cultural contexts. She examined the possibilities and limitations of feminist legal theory in religious, indigenous, and “othered” communities.
  • January 29, 2013
    Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
    Dorsey and Whitney Chair in Law, the University of Minnesota Law School
    Professor of Law at the University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast
    "Rethinking Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence" While the harms caused by sexual violence experienced by men, women, and children during armed conflict have become better known, little attention has been paid to the need for reparations for the victims. Ní Aoláin examined these harms, and argued that criminal accountability is insufficient; innovative and transformative reparations are essential to address the multiple, interlinked effects of sexual violence.
  • October 22, 2012
    Professor Jennifer Gordon
    Fordham University School of Law
    "The Public Interest Lawyer and the Quest for Immigrant Workers' Rights"




  • April 8, 2010
    Professor Kimberly Mutcherson
    "Feel Like Makin’ Babies: Mapping the Borders of the Right to Procreate in a Post-Coital World"
  • March 4, 2010
    Professor Erin Murphy
    University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
    “Databases, Deterrence, and the Future of Constitutional Criminal Procedure.”
  • February 18, 2010
    Professor Robert M. Chesney
    Charles I. Francis Professor in Law, the University of Texas at Austin School of Law“The Emerging Law of Military Detention: Guantanamo and Beyond?” Professor Chesney discussed the impact of Boumediene v. Bush and explored the consequential responsibilities that have fallen on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • October 13, 2009
    Professor Michael Wishnie
    “The Immigration Debate: From the Berkshires to Washington”
  • November 2009
    Professor Laura Dickinson
    Foundation Professor of Law, the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University
    “Outsourcing War and Peace”
    Professor Dickinson shared insights from her upcoming monograph, Outsourcing War and Peace, discussing the increasing privatization of military functions, foreign aid, and government diplomacy, and the challenges of legal accountability resulting from such privatization. 
  • September 2009
    Professor Bethany Berger
    University of Connecticut School of Law
    "Williams v. Lee and the Debate Over Indian Equality"
    In a landmark 1958 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the jurisdiction of Indian tribal courts for disputes that occur on Indian land in the case of Williams v. Lee. Professor Berger discussed the case and the impact it had on Indian equity.



  • April 2008
    Professor Lolita Buckner Inniss
    “A 'Ho New World: Raced and Gendered Insult as Ersatz Carnival and the Corruption of Freedom of Expression Norms”
  • March 2008
    Professor Dan Kahan
    “Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe—An Empirical (and Normative) Assessment of Scott v. Harris
  • November 2007
    Professor John Zeleznikow
    “Using Information Technology to Support the Resolution of Disputes”
  • October 2007
    Professor Anthony Roisman

    “Reintegrating Public Interest Lawyering into the Legal Profession and Legal Education”
  • September 2007
    Atty. Andrew Beckerman-Rodau ’81
    “The Attack on Intellectual Property Law—Is It Justified?”


  • March 2007
    Professor Cheryl Wade
    Dean Harold F. McNiece Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law
    "Advancing The Corporate Discourse About Race"
  • February 2007
    Professor James Stribopoulos
    "Does a Judge's Party of Appointment or Gender Matter to Case Outcomes?"
  • January 2007
    Professor Kent Greenfield
    "The Failure of Corporate Law"
  • October 2006
    Professor Robert B. Keiter
    "Glacier National Park and its Neighbors: A Twenty-year Study in Regional Resource Management"


  • March 20, 2006
    Professor Martha Ertman
    University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
    "New Frontiers in Private Ordering"
    In a world that is often ruled by buyers and sellers, those things that are often considered priceless become objects to be marketed and from which to earn a profit. Ranging from black market babies to exploitative sex trade operations to the marketing of race and culture, Professor Ertman, coauthor of Rethinking Commodification (NYU Press 2005), challenges us to reexamine the traditional legal question: “To commodify or not to commodify?”
  • February 2006
    Professor Zygmunt J.B. Platter
    Boston College Law School
    "Law, Media, and Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linage in Sustainable Democratic Governance"
    This talk explored some of the interrelationships between law, media, and environmental analysis at the macro level of national and international concern. It addressed issues such as global warming, endocrine disrupters in food supplies, and the micro level of on-the-ground daily lawyering in litigation and local governance and how attorneys can play a greater role in improving such matters.
  • January 2006
    Professor Patricia A. McCoy
    University of Connecticut School of Law
    "Predatory Lending: Who's to Blame?"
    Her lecture included details about securitization and predatory lending.
  • November 2005
    Professor Tim Casey
    Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    "Problem-Solving Courts, the Perpetual Reform of the Justice System, and the Possibilities for a Better Future"
  • October 2005
    Professor Michael Tigar
    Washington College of Law at American University
    "The Enemy Combatant Doctrine and the Scope of Executive Power"
    Professor Tigar spoke about the antiterrorism case Jose Padilla v. Donald Rumsfeld, et al., and its implications for civil liberties and human rights in the United States.


  • April 2005
    Sir Nicholas Lyell, Q.C
    "Security, Justice, and Liberty in a Free Society"
    The former British Attorney General and Solicitor General under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, Sir Nicholas is the longest continually serving law officer of the Royal Crown. His lecture focused on the nature of terrorism, the strengths and risks inherent in a free society, and the importance of defending and sharing the “priceless inheritance” of the U.K. and the U.S.
  • February 2005
    Professor Gerald W. Markowitz
    John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
    "Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Disease of Industrial Politics"
    A leading authority and researcher in occupational health and safety and former Chair of the Thematic Studies Department at John Jay College, Professor Markowitz explored a variety of aspects of health policy, with special focus on the reaction of the lead paint and chemical industries’ response to the questions about product danger to public health. He detailed how his book, Deceit and Denial, provides answers to questions of dangerous environmental degradation and escalating corporate greed while offering suggestions for changing policy to offer greater protection to consumers.
  • January 2005
    Professor Susan R. Jones
    George Washington University Law School
    "An Economic Justice Imperative"
    Professor Jones discussed the need for critical examination of current economic justice in light of globalization and technological advances. Those advances, she said, are changing the nature of work and creating information inequality as well as an overall widening of the power gap. Professor Jones is the director of The George Washington University Law School’s small business clinic.
  • November 2004
    Professor Lawrence Cunningham
    Boston College Law School
    "Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative to Auditor Liability"
    A prolific legal scholar and authority on corporate finance, accounting, and mergers and acquisitions, Professor Cunningham's lecture explored corporate reporting reform, proposing financial statement insurance as an alternative to the existing model of financial statement auditing backed by auditor liability.
  • October 2004
    Professor Edward G. Rubin
    University of Pennsylvania Law School
    "Charity Begins in Washington, D.C."
    In his talk, Professor Rubin speaker focused on how the advent of the modern administrative state has changed the moral foundations of charity. He advocates that instead of private giving, citizens should vote for comprehensive social welfare programs.


  • March 2004
    Professor Lance Compa
    Cornell University
    "Evaluating Workplace Rights in the United States Under International Labor Standards: The Meatpacking Industry Case"
  • November 2003
    Professor Saras Jagwanth
    University of Cape Town
    "Beyond Discrimination: Positive Duties to Promote Equality"
  • October 2003
    Barry Werth
    "Privacy, Politics and Hysteria: Lessons from the 1960 Smith College Homosexual Scandal"


  • April 2003
    Professor Charles Ogletree
    "The Current Reparations Debate"
  • March 2003
    Professor Marina Angel
    Temple University Law School
    "Women Abused in 1917 and Today: A Jury of Her Peers"
  • February 2003
    Professor Eric Muller
    University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
    "Civil Liberties in Wartime: The Case of the Japanese-American Draft Resisters of World War II"
  • January 2003
    Hon. Joseph F. Baca
    New Mexico Supreme Court Justice
    "The New Federalism"


  • April 2002
    Professor Howard Shelanski
    University of California at Berkeley
    "Regulation, Deregulation, and Technological Change"
  • March 2002
    Professor Angela Jordan Davis
    American University Washington College of Law
    "The American Prosecutor: Independence, Power, and the Threat of Tyranny"
  • February 2002
    Professor Anita Hill
    Brandeis University
    "Social Change and Workplace Realities: How Improved Harmony in the Workplace Affects Productivity"
  • February 2002
    Professor Paul Butler
    George Washington University School of Law
    "Punishing the Crimes of Slaves: A Historical and Doctrinal Analysis"
  • January 2002
    Professor Joseph Singer
    Harvard Law School
    "Canons of Conquest: The Supreme Courts Attack on Tribal Sovereignty"
  • October 2001
    Professor Spencer Overton
    University of California at Davis School of Law
    "But Some are More Equal: Race, Exclusion, and Campaign Finance"


  • April 2001
    Professor E. Allan Farnsworth
    Columbia Law School
    "Oops! Reflections on Mistake and the Law"
  • April 2001
    Professor Lani Guinier
    Harvard University Law School
    "The Miner's Canary: Rethinking Race and Power"
  • March 2001
    Professor Sheryll D. Cashin
    Georgetown University Law Center
    "Middle Class Black Suburbs and the State of Integration: A Post Integrationalist Vision for Metropolitan America"
  • November 2000
    Professor Blake D. Morant
    Washington and Lee University School of Law
    "The Paradox of the Televised Fair Trial: Group Theory and the Intuitive Effects of Television"
  • October 17, 2000
    Professor Pedro A. Malavet
    Frederic G. Levin College of Law, University of Florida
    "Puerto Rico: Cultural Nation, American Colony"
  • September 26, 2000
    Professor Mary Anne Case
    University of Chicago Law School
    "Molecular Constitutionalism and Community Standards"


  • October 20, 1999
    Professor Anthony Paul Farley
    Boston College Law School
    "Jurisprudence & Human Emotions"
  • November 18, 1999
    Joan Vermuelen, Esq.
    Executive Director, New York Lawyers for Public Interest
    "Lawyering for Poor Communities in the 21st Century"
  • September 23, 1999
    Professor Cynthia Fuchs Epstein
    City University of New York Graduate Center
    "The Part-time Paradox: Gender, Work, and Family"


  • February 22, 1999
    Professor Austin Sarat
    Amherst College
    "Imagining the Law of the Father: Loss, Dread, and Mourning in the Sweet Hereafter"
  • November 10, 1998
    Professor William E. Nelson
    New York University School of Law
    "Liberty, Equality, and Opportunity: Progressive Legalism in New York, 1920-1980"


  • March 30, 1998
    Professor Robert G. Bone

    Boston University School of Law
    "The Process of Making Process: A Critical Look at the Procedural Rulemaking"
  • March 6, 1998
    Professor David J. Luban
    Georgetown University Law Center
    "Rediscovering Fuller's Legal Ethics"
  • November 13, 1997
    Professor Akhil Reed Amar
    Southmayd Professor of Law, Yale Law School
    "The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction"
  • October 23, 1997
    Professor Anthony V. Alfieri
    University of Miami School of Law
    "Black and White: The Practice of Critical Race Theory"
  • October 8, 1997
    Professor Catharine Wells
    Boston College Law School
    "Pragmatism and the Problem of Relativism"


  • April 21, 1997
    Professor Brian Z. Tamanaha
    St. John's University School of Law
    "A General Jurisprudence for the Study of Law and Society in the
    New Millennium"
  • April 7, 1997
    Professor Vicki Schultz
    Yale Law School
    "Reconceptualizing Harassment Law"
  • March 24, 1997
    Professor Pamela S. Karlan
    Roy L. & Rosamond Woodruff Research Professor, University of Virginia School of Law
    "Just Politics?: Five Not So Easy Pieces of the 1995 Term"
  • March 6, 1997
    Professor Neil Gotanda
    Boston College Law School
    "The Origins of Racial Categorization in Colonial Virginia, 1619-1705"
  • February 10, 1997
    Professor Michael Davis
    Chinese University of Hong Kong
    "Constitutionalism in Global Perspective: Democracy, Rights, and Relativism"
  • October 25, 1996
    Professor Eric Orts
    The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
    "Shirking and Sharking: Agency, Law, Agency Costs, and a Dual Theory of the Firm"
  • October 3, 1996
    Professor James E. Fleming
    Fordham University School of Law
    "Fidelity to Our Imperfect Constitution"
  • September 18, 1996
    Professor Philip N. Meyer
    Vermont Law School
    "Stories About Legal Writing in Law School, Practice, & Dreams"


  • April 23, 1996
    Professor Peter H. Schuck
    Yale Law School
    "Refugee Burden Sharing"
  • April 16, 1996
    Professor Jordan M. Steiker
    University of Texas School of Law
    "Decision-making in Capital Cases"
  • March 4, 1996
    Professor Paul Finkelman
    University of Miami School of Law
    "Legal Ethics and Fugitive Slaves: The Anthony Burns Case, Judge Loring, and Abolitionist Attorneys"


  • April 28, 1995
    Professor Mary E. Becker
    University of Chicago Law School
    "(Almost) No Such Thing as Free Speech at Work"
  • April 10, 1995
    Professor Sanford Levinson
    University of Texas School of Law
    "And They Whisper: Some Reflections on Flags, Monuments, and State Holidays, and the Construction of Social Meaning in a Multicultural Society"
  • February 16, 1995
    Professor Susan Stefan
    University of Miami School of Law
    "Issues Relating to Women and Ethnic Minorities in Mental Health Treatment Law"
  • November 28, 1994
    Professor Gary J. Bernhard
    University Without Walls, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    "Organizational Change"
  • November 16, 1994
    Professor Jules L. Coleman Yale Law School
    "Mischief and Fortune"
  • September 26, 1994
    Professor David Gray Carlson
    Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
    "On the Efficiency of Secured Lending and the Meaning and Use of the Concept of 'The Perfect Market' in Law and Economics"


  • February 22, 1994
    Professor Linda S. Mullinex University of Texas School of Law
    "Discovery in Disarray: The Pervasive Myth of Pervasive Discovery Abuse and the Consequences for Unfounded Rulemaking"
  • December 9, 1993
    Professor Dorothy E. Roberts
    Rutgers University, S.I. Center for Law and Justice
    "Mothers and Crime"
  • October 19, 1993
    Professor Frederick Schauer
    Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
    "Giving Reasons"


  • April 19, 1993
    Professor Carol Sanger
    Santa Clara University School of Law
    "Girls and the Getaway: Cars, Culture, and the Law"
  • April 2, 1993
    Professor Tracey Maclin Cornell Law School
    "The Debate over the Central Meaning of the Fourth Amendment"
  • March 5, 1993
    Professor Jack M. Balkin
    Yale Law School
    "Coherence and Legal Understanding"
  • October 23, 1992
    Professor Ruth Wedgwood
    Yale Law School
    "Use of Armed Forces in International Affairs: The Case of Panama"
  • October 16, 1992
    Professor Zipporah B. Wiseman
    University of Texas School of Law
    "Soia Mentschikoff, Notes Toward a Bibliography"


  • April 2, 1992
    Professor Kendall Thomas
    Columbia University School of Law
    "Beyond the Privacy Principle: Sexuality, Corporeality, and the Constitution of Power"
  • March 1992
    Professor Dennis M. Patterson
    Rutgers University School of Law-Camden
    "Doing Law"
  • February 1992
    Professor David A. J. Richards
    New York University School of Law
    "The Reconstruction Amendments"
  • February 1992
    Professor Jonathan R. Macey
    University of Chicago Law School
    "The Canons of Statutory Construction and Judicial Preference"
  • November 1991
    Professor Judy Scales-Trent
    State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law
    "Black Women and the Constitution: Finding Our Place, Asserting Our Rights"
  • November 1991
    Professor Julius G. Getman
    University of Texas School of Law
    "The Strike in Jay, Maine: Employers' Rights to Hire Substitute Workers for Strikers"
  • November 1991
    Professor Kathryn Abrams
    Boston University School of Law
    "Sexual Harassment: Second Thoughts on the 'Reasonable Woman' "
  • October 1991
    Professor Aviam Soifer
    Boston University School of Law
    "The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the 1780 Constitution"
  • October 1991
    Professor Carol A. Weisbrod
    University of Connecticut Law School
    "Emblems of Federalism"


  • April 1991
    Professor Stephen L. Carter
    Yale Law School
    "Affirmative Action"
  • April 1991
    Professor Owen M. Fiss
    Yale Law School
    "State Activism and State Censorship"
  • February 1991
    Professor Claire Dalton
    Northeastern University School of Law
    "Experience as a Source of Health(y) Law"
  • November 1990
    Professor Marilyn Schuster
    Smith College
    "Eliminating Bias and Prejudice from the Law School Classroom"
  • October 1990
    Professor James Boyd White
    University of Michigan Law School
    "Justice as Translation"
  • October 1990
    Professor Frances E. Olsen
    University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
    "The Sex of Law"
  • October 1990
    Professor E. Allan Farnsworth
    Columbia Law School
    "For This Relief, Much Thanks: Punitive Damages in Arbitration"


  • May 1990
    Professor Robert Ackermann
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    "Feminist Epistemology"
  • April 1990
    Professor Randy E. Barnett
    Chicago-Kent College of Law
    "Power, Law, and Legal Discourse"
  • March 1990
    Professor Donald N. McCloskey
    University of Iowa
    "Economics and Narrative"
  • March 1990
    Professor M. Ethan Katsh
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    "Technological Change and the Transformation of Law"
  • February 1990
    Professor John H. Mansfield
    Harvard Law School and
    Professor Jay Demarath
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    "Church and State in Springfield"
  • February 1990
    Professor Elizabeth V. Spelman
    Smith College
    "The Inessential Woman"
  • November 1989
    Professor Arthur Ripstein
    University of Toronto
    "Foundationalism and Political Theory"
  • November 1989
    Professor Thomas H. Morawetz
    University of Connecticut School of Law
    "Critical Legal Studies, Feminism, and a Critique of Law"
  • September 1989
    Professor Judith Resnick
    University of Southern California Gould School of Law
    "Group Litigation and Civil Procedure"


  • April 1989
    Professor Edwina L. Rissland
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    "Computer-Based Legal Reasoning"
  • April 1989
    Professor William N. Eskridge
    Georgetown University Law Center
    "Statutory Interpretation"

Color of Law

  • Color of Law Roundtable

    Created in 2007, the Color of Law Roundtable brings attorneys of color to Western New England University to share their educational, career, and personal experiences with the School of Law community.

    The speakers give students an opportunity to ask candid questions about career choices, career challenges, and the decisions that the speakers made in response to those challenges. Roundtable speakers, many of whom are graduates of Western New England University School of Law, represent a wide range of practice areas and careers, giving students a firsthand look at the numerous possibilities a legal education can provide.

  • Color of Law Roundtable Directors

    Professors Sudha Setty and Bridgette Baldwin both joined the School of Law faculty in the fall of 2006.

    Professor Setty was a litigator for seven years prior to joining the School of Law, and has written in the areas of comparative constitutional law and politics as well as Title IX and women’s rights.

    Professor Baldwin was a criminal and civil defense attorney in New York City and also taught in the area of criminal law and procedure before joining the School of Law. Her research interests include criminal law and procedure, welfare law, and critical race theory.


February 27, 2018
Deepika Bains Shukla

Deepika Bains Shukla is the Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts in Springfield. She prosecutes federal criminal cases involving fraud, public corruption, gun and drug crimes, terrorism, and civil rights crimes. Before starting at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2014, Deepika was a staff attorney at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, a litigator at a small civil rights firm, and an associate at a large law firm in New York. Deepika earned her J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.


Fall 2017

October 23, 2017 
Tahirah Amatul-Wadud ’05

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud is an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the US District Court for the Northern District of New York, and the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She is a commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and in that role advocates before the state legislature to enact laws responsive to the needs of women and girls. Additionally, she runs a law practice with focus areas in civil rights and domestic relations law. Attorney Amatul-Wadud was invited to the White House in December 2015 for a program on Celebrating and Protecting America's Tradition of Religious Pluralism. She is a public speaker and her areas of expertise include issues relating to family law, women, civic engagement, interfaith solidarity, children, race, and religion. She graduated from Elms College in Chicopee in 1998 and Western New England University School of Law in 2005. Please join us for this inspiring speaker. Lunch will be served. Seating is limited, Reservation is required by contacting Professor Bridgette Baldwin at baldwinwneclaw@hotmail.com.
Event Contact: RSVP to: Professor Bridgette Baldwin and Professor Sudha Setty.

Past Speakers

March 24, 2017
Honorable Rupal Shah - Judge Shah was nominated to the Connecticut Superior Court in 2014 by Governor Malloy and is the first Indian American to serve on the Connecticut Judiciary. Over the last three years, she has served as a trial court judge at the Rockville G.A., the New Britain Judicial District, and the Litchfield Judicial District. She currently presides over civil matters at the Waterbury Judicial District courthouse. Judge Shah is a first generation Indian American who grew up in Glastonbury, CT, attended Glastonbury Public Schools, and has lived in Connecticut for most of her life. She is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Georgetown University Law Center. After graduating from Georgetown, Judge Shah returned to Connecticut to begin her legal career, which encompassed both the private and public sector and included diverse practice areas.
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October 19, 2016
Attorney Maurice Powe L'01, Springfield Attorney - Attorney Powe serves as Risk Manager of the Children International Summer Village (CISV) Chapter of Greater Springfield, Secretary of the Brethren Community Foundation, Chairperson of the Springfield NAACP Legal redress committee, and Director for the Hampden County Lawyers for Justice, and is on the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Springfield.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 
Jacquelyn Lee-Washington, Springfield Attorney

October 1, 2015 
Rishi K. Desai ’09, Director of the Business Law Department at Shah & Associates, P.C.

November 9, 2013
Sarala Nagala, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Connecticut

February 20, 2013
Elizabeth Rodriguez Ross '07, City Solicitor for the City of Holyoke Law Department

March 27, 2013
Proloy K. Das, Rome McGuigan, P.C.

January 27,2012
Julie Alleyne - The Hartford Financial Service

March 14, 2012
Namita Tripathi Shaw - Day Pitney LLP, Municipal Finance and Institutional Commercial Lending Practice

April 4, 2012
Sunila Thomas-George ’95 - Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination

September 12. 2012
Rev. Peter Sylver - Pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Presbyterian Church

October 10, 2012
Mia Kim Sullivan - Director of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program at Hampshire College

February 9, 2011
Taruna Garg - Associate, Murtha Cullina, LLP

September 7, 2011
Nebiyu Feleke '00 - Department of Homeland Security

October 2010
Alexis Highsmith - Greater Hartford Legal Aid

January 2010
Cynthia Tucker '86 - Labor Relations Specialist, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

February 22, 2010
Julian T. Tynes '97 - Assistant General Counsel/Labor, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services

April 1, 2010
Genine Roure '97 - Assistant Professor, Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

September 29,2010
Van Johnson III '04 - Denner Pellegrino, LLP, Career Paths: Real Estate Attorney

October 14, 2010
Luis R. Vera Jr. ’92 - nationally recognized civil rights attorney and General Counsel and Legal Advisor, League of United Latin American Citizens

October 19, 2010
Kathleen A. Brown-Perez, Assistant Professor with Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

November 5, 2010
Cecil Thomas - Staff Attorney, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.


February 24, 2009
Asker Saeed - Assistant Counsel, Operational Commercial Programs, United Technologies Corporation, Pratt & Whitney Division, East Hartford, CT

April 13, 2009
Cheryl Coakley Rivera (D) '95 - Massachusetts State Representative, 10th Hampden District, Springfield, MA

September 22, 2009

Angela Brown - Assistant Vice President & Counsel, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

October 5, 2009

Alex Toribio - Associate Attorney, law firm of McCarter and English

November 3, 2009

Dave Vatti - Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office in Hartford

November 16, 2009

Roderick Ireland - Associate Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

January 17, 2008
Alesia Days ’99 – Associate City Solicitor; City of Springfield

February 29, 2008
Netta Vatti – Attorney; Zeldes, Needle & Cooper

March 25, 2008
William Tong – Connecticut State Representative

April 17, 2008
Charles Rucks '07 - Executive Director; Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services

September 30, 2008
Jeanie Tung - Director of Employment Services; Henry Street Settlement Workforce Development Center

October 30, 2008

Jessica Torres '99 - Assistant Attorney General; Connecticut Office of the Attorney General

November 10, 2008

Charles Groce III '97 - Criminal Defense Attorney