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Tenth Anniversary Liman Public Interest Colloquium


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The Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellowship and Fund, a leading voice in public interest law, focuses on developing innovative responses to an array of problems related to access to justice.  In 1997, the Liman Program and the Liman Professorship were endowed to honor one of Yale Law School's most accomplished graduates, Arthur Liman, who graduated in 1957. Arthur Liman demonstrated how dedicated lawyers, in both private practice and public life, can serve the needs of people and causes that might otherwise go unrepresented. Over the past decade and through the generosity of his family, friends, professional colleagues, and many others, Yale Law School has helped to forward his concerns by enabling students, alumni,  alumnae, and faculty to work together on a range of public interest activities.

 To mark the tenth anniversary of the Liman Program, we are gathering our current and former Liman Fellows are coming together to focus on shared concerns and to help shape future projects.  

Thursday, March 1st
Yale Law School
127 Wall Street, New Haven CT

4:15 – 4:30 pm Welcome from Dean Harold Koh, Professor Judith Resnik, and the Liman Family.
4:30 pm An Urban Mayor's Perspective on Public Interest Advocacy 

Address by Newark Mayor Cory Booker (YLS '97) (video)

Dean Koh’s introduction of Cory Booker (pdf).

Mayor Booker, a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School and a Rhodes Scholar, has worked in Newark, New Jersey since 1997. He has served as a Staff Attorney for the Urban Justice Center and as a Program Coordinator of the Newark Youth Project. In 1998, Booker became a member of the Central Ward of Newark. In July of 2006, Cory Booker took office as the Mayor of Newark.

6:00 pm Reception, Alumni Reading Room (all welcome).

7:00 pm. Dinner in honor of the Liman Fellowship and of Mayor Booker,

The Liman Program gratefully acknowledges support from the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund for these events.
Friday, March 2nd
8:30 - 9:30 am Informal breakfast for Liman Fellows and Liman Summer Fellows

The morning’s programs are for Liman Fellows, Liman Summer Fellows, affiliated faculty and students.

9:45 - 10:45 am Reflections on Public Interest Lives 

This session, focused on the major themes in public interest lawyering,  will be moderated by Alison Hirschel, who, in 1996-1997, was the first Liman Law School Fellow. 

Discussion will focus on these questions:

1. What issues about public interest lawyering have you changed your views on since your fellowship and why?
2. What does it mean to you now to be a “lawyer” and how does that meaning differ (if at all) from your sense formed in law school?  Did your fellowship affect your understanding?
3. Did the work you began as a fellow make the kind of difference that you expected?
4. As a public interest lawyer, what is your experience of the concepts of “commitment” and “burnout”?  How have you addressed issues related to hope, idealism, and energy?
5. What is your understanding of a “traditional” public interest practice, and what makes a practice “innovative?”  Are such distinctions helpful?  Distracting?
6. What institutional resource challenges have you faced?  Had you or your organization had more funds, what would you have spent them on first?

11 - 12:30 pm Public Interest Law in Practice: Small Group Discussions by Subject Matter

Fellows, students, and faculty will join one of the groups listed below in rooms designated for these workshops.

Civil Rights/Workers’ Rights
Criminal Justice
Health, Welfare & Well-being
Juvenile Justice/Education

Note:  The lunchtime panel discussion is open to the Law School Community and others interested in the Liman Program

12:45 - 2:00 pm Creating Opportunities to Generate New Forms of Public Interest Advocacy 

Public interest law advocacy is situated in many different places – freestanding organizations, public and private law firms, bar associations, independent non-profit organizations, and law school clinics. Public interest advocates make their way into the work in a variety of ways through entry-level jobs, pro bono work, and fellowships, and they find funding through public and private sources.

The Liman Program has offered another innovation by coordinating a Summer Fellowship to provide opportunities for undergraduates and non-law graduate students to work in public interest advocacy. Currently, six institutions--Barnard, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Spelman, and Yale--participate.

This roundtable discussion addresses such innovations, with special attention played to the role of universities and law schools in shaping new ways to do public interest law. We will reflect on past efforts and look forward to see how we might restructure to strengthen public interest advocacy.

Panelists include:
Barnard College: Christina Kuan Tsu, Associate Dean of Studies
Brown University:  Alan Flam, Senior Fellow, Swearer Center for Public Service
Harvard University:  Amanda Sonis Glynn, Director of the Harvard Public Service Network
Princeton University:  Kathleen Applegate, Program Manager, Program in Law and Public Affairs
Spelman College:  Dr. Desiree Pedescleaux, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Yale Law School:  Robert Solomon, Clinical Professor, Director, Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization;  Michael Wishnie, Clinical Professor; Joshua Johnson, Michael Murray, Yale Liman Law Student Board

Moderators: Deborah J. Cantrell, Director, Arthur Liman Public Interest Program; Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law

The afternoon programs are again a time for Liman Fellows, Liman Summer Fellows, and affiliated faculty and students.

2:15 - 3:45 pm Practice, Methods, and Institutions: Small Group Discussions

Fellows and interested students will be assigned to small discussion groups that mix those with experience in different forms of advocacy and different kinds of settings to understand how their practices overlap, diverge, complement, and contrast. 

The closing sessions return us to a group as a whole.

4:00 - 4:30 pm Celebrating and Reflecting on the Liman Infrastructure

This segment gives us time to acknowledge the support for this Program, to reflect on the Program's structure, and to consider its shape for the coming decade.

Deborah Cantrell, Director, Arthur Liman Program,
Mary Clark, former Director, Arthur Liman Program, now Assistant
   Professor, American University Washington College of Law
Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law
Marilyn Cassella, Senior Administrative Associate
4:30 - 6:00 pm Lives at Work/Working Lives

This session considers the questions:
 Mentoring relationships: building, doing, and sustaining them over time
 Career choices, gender, and the cycles of a useful and engaged life

6:15 - 8:30 pm Colloquium closing dinner at the home of Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis (By invitation)

2007 Liman Colloquium Agenda (PDF)