Lawyers, Community, and Impact

Since 2016, the series has invited Columbia Law experts to talk about the most pressing issues of our time.

LCI Lawyers, Community, and Impact logo

 

Launched by Dean Gillian Lester, the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series is intended to strengthen connections and build texture by bringing deeper context and perspective to the work Columbia Law community members do both inside and outside the classroom.

“One of the great pleasures of being part of an intellectual community such as ours is the opportunity to have thoughtful and respectful discussions about the legal and social ramifications of domestic and world events as they unfold,” said Dean Gillian Lester in introducing the series in 2017. “This proactive engagement is a critically important part of the process of growing collectively as an inclusive, innovative, and empathic community.” 

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events scheduled at this time.

Explore Past LCI Events

Conversation with Damian Williams, US Attorney for the SDNY
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
12:10 to 1:10 pm EDT
JG 103

In this special event, the newly appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, will sit down for an interview with Professor Jessica Bulman-Pozen. Williams will address such topics as his path to becoming the first Black US Attorney for the district, the challenges of leading an independent office in an age of polarization, and his creation of a civil rights unit with the SDNY. Lunch will be provided first-come, first-served.

Sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Tasks of Critical Race Theory: Brandon Terry in Conversation with Kendall Thomas
Thursday, April 21, 2022
4:00 to 5:00 pm EDT
JG 107

In this special lecture, renowned scholar Brandon Terry will be joined by Professor Kendall Thomas to discuss the relationship of critical race theory (CRT) to liberal political thought and the social contract tradition. Terry will present new work in which he challenges Charles W. Mills's influential conception of the tasks of CRT, and argues that Toni Morrison's competing vision of CRT gives us a better approach to understanding the place of race in liberal thought. Professor Thomas will provide commentary on Terry's lecture. Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be provided.

Sponsored by the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought,  Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

America on Fire
March 31, 2022
12:10 to 1:10 pm EDT
JG 103

Join Prof. Elizabeth Hinton and Prof. Sarah Seo for a conversation on Prof. Hinton's newest book, America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s. What began in spring 2020 as local protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police quickly exploded into a massive nationwide movement. Millions of mostly young people defiantly flooded into the nation’s streets, demanding an end to police brutality and to the broader, systemic repression of Black people and other people of color. To many observers, the protests appeared to be without precedent in their scale and persistence. Yet, as the acclaimed historian Elizabeth Hinton demonstrates in America on Fire, the events of 2020 had clear precursors—and any attempt to understand our current crisis requires a reckoning with the recent past.

Lawyering with Movements: A Conversation with Soffiyah Elijah and Derecka Purnell
March 9, 2022, 12:10 to 1:10 pm EST
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Join us for a conversation with Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of Alliance of Families for Justice, and Derecka Purnell, CLS Scholar in Residence and author of Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom, to discuss lawyering with communities and movements to transform the justice system in New York City and the nation. Elijah and Purnell will discuss the challenges and opportunities of the current moment in the struggle against criminal law system injustices. Prof. Amber Baylor and Omavi Shukur, Practitioner-in-Residence at the Initiative for a Just Society, will co-moderate this discussion.

Sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 12:10 PM - 1:10 PM
Watch the full event.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shocked the world. International law experts Matthew Waxman, Liviu Librescu Professor of Law, and Monica Hakimi, Nathaniel Fensterstock Visiting Professor of Law, will discuss the invasion, the immediate responses of other governments, and the potential implications for the international legal order. The discussion will be moderated by the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, Professor David Pozen.  Lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Supreme Court Reform: A Conversation with the CLS Commissioners
Wednesday, January 26, 12:10–1:00pm
Watch the full event

Supreme Court Reform: A Conversation with the CLS Commissioners from Columbia Law School on Vimeo.

Last month, President Biden's Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States issued its much-anticipated final report. Professor Kate Andrias served as the commission's rapporteur, and Professors Bert Huang and Olatunde Johnson served as members. Please join Professors AndriasHuang, and Johnson for a special discussion of the commission and the future of the Court, to be moderated by Professor David Pozen.

52 States: The Case for D.C. and Puerto Rico Statehood
Wednesday, November 17th, 2021
Case Lounge, Room 701
12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

The Center for Constiutional Governance hosts a panel discussion featuring:
 
Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus
Columbia Law School
George Welwood Murray Professor of Legal History
 
George Derek Musgrove
University of Maryland, Baltimore Counry
Associate Professor of History
Author, Chocolate City
 
Moderated by:
Jessica Bulman-Pozen
Columbia Law School
Betts Professor of Law

Defending (and Achieving?) Democracy: A Conversation with Professors Olatunde Johnson and Jed Purdy
October 13, 2021
Watch the full event.

SCOTUS Roundup
September 13, 2021
Watch the full event.

Anti-Racism Steering Committee End of Year Update
 

April 12, 2021 at 12:10pm

Please join the Anti-Racism Steering Committee to discuss the Steering Committee’s work and to respond to questions in real-time. Check your email for the registration link.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Student Services, and the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, and the Anti-Racism Steering Committee.
 


Anti-Asian Bias and Violence: How Can We Respond?

April 7, 2021 at 12:10pm

Watch the full event.
 


Topic: How Rights Went Wrong: A Book Talk by Professor Jamal Greene

March 17, 2021 11:50 AM

Watch the full event.

 



Topic: The First 30 Days, Forward: The Biden-Harris Administration

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 12:15 PM - 1:10 PM

Watch the full event.

Join CLS Faculty for a timely discussion on how U.S. institutions, law, policy, and culture may change under a Biden-Harris Administration, with a focus on the presidency, court reform, statehood, and economic law and policy.

Panelists:

  • Kendall Thomas, Nash Professor of Law (Race, Law & the Office of the President)  
  • Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus, George Welwood Murray Professor of Legal History, (Statehood)
  • David Pozen, Vice Dean for Intellectual Life and Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law (Court Reform)
  • Lina Khan, Associate Professor of Law (Antitrust and Competition)
  • Lev Menand, Academic Fellow and Lecturer-in-Law (Economic Policy)

ModeratorAndrea Saavedra, Assistant Dean of Judicial Clerkships

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.  
 


Just Vaccination

Monday, February 1, 2021, 12:15 PM - 1:10 PM

Watch the full event.

​​​​​​Please join Professors Robert FulliloveTerry McGovern, and Magda Schaler-Haynes '01 for a discussion moderated by Professor Kristen Underhill on legal policy, social and racial justice, and global equity issues raised by the production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.  
 


 

Insurrection and Impeachment: Making Sense of the Trump Presidency's Final Days

Friday, January 15, 2021 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Please join Professors Maeve Glass, Jamal Greene, Olatunde Johnson, and Daniel Richman for a wide-ranging discussion of last week's violence at the Capitol and responses to it.  The discussion will address such issues as whether and how President Trump might be removed from office or barred from future office, whether existing laws addressing domestic terrorism are adequate, what to make of Twitter's ban of Trump, and how to confront through law the racism and anti-democratic attitudes that helped fuel the attacks in Washington.  Professor David Pozen will moderate.
 


The Day After the 2020 Presidential Election – What's Next?

November 4, 2020
4:40 pm

While the 2020 Presidential Election is over, we are sure many questions still remain! Please join Professor Richard Briffault, Professor Edward Foley, and Perry Grossman for a discussion moderated by Vice-Dean David Pozen to discuss many of our post-election questions! Sponsored by Lawyers, Community and Impact, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life and the Office of Student Services.
 


25th Annual U.S. Supreme Court Roundup

Thursday, September 24, 2020
4:40 – 5:40pm

Join us for a discussion of the key decisions from the past term, and an analysis of the impact of the new Justices, in areas ranging from immigration to abortion to LGBTQ rights in employment to separation of powers. Our panel will be moderated by Prof. David Pozen, Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, and will feature Professors Elora Mukherjee and Suzanne Goldberg, as well as CLS Fellow Tom Schmidt and Nancy Northup '88, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, the Office of Student Services, Social Justice Initiatives (SJI), the American Constitution Society, and the Federalist Society. Please check your email for the registration link.
 


Reflecting on the Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Monday, September 21, 2020
8:00 – 9:00pm

Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law
David Schizer, Dean Emeritus and Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law
Payvand Ahdout '13, Academic Fellow
Gillian Metzger '96, Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law
 


Antiracism Forum

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
4:40 – 5:40pm

Please join Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life David Pozen and the members of Columbia Law School's Anti-Racism Steering Committee for a forum. The goal of the meeting is to introduce the members of the committee to the Law School community, to share information about the Committee's ongoing work and future plans, and to hear feedback and questions from the student body. Please check your email for the registration link. 

The Legacy of Slavery in the Struggle for Environmental Justice

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Please join the Columbia Journal of Race and Law for a closer look at the connections between environmental justice and the history of American slavery, featuring Professor Maeve Glass and Alexis Hoag, Practitioner-in-Residence at the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative and former LDF Senior Counsel. This discussion will focus on Zora Neale Hurston’s book Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" and the window it opens onto the life of enslaved Africans settling in what came to be known as Africatown in Alabama. The panelists will also discuss contemporary issues of environmental justice in African American communities.  

Lunch will be served.

Sponsors: Lawyers, Community, and Impact, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, the Office Student ServicesSocial Justice InitiativesStudent Affairs AdministrationCenter for Intersectionality and Social Policy StudiesEmpowering Women of ColorColumbia Journal of Race and Law, Black Law Students AssociationCenter for Constitutional Governance, and The Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:00pm, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 105

 

Book Discussion: "Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition"

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Please join Professors Katherine FrankeSarah Cleveland, and Olatunde Johnson and in a discussion focusing on Professor Franke's book "Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition." Lunch will be served.

Made possible by the Clifford Chance Thought Leadership on Diversity Lecture Series.

Sponsors: Lawyers, Community, and Impact, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, the Office Student ServicesSocial Justice Initiatives, Student Affairs Administration, Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy StudiesEmpowering Women of ColorColumbia Journal of Race and LawBlack Law Students AssociationCenter for Constitutional Governance, and The Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:00pm, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103

 

A Conversation About the Place of Slavery in American Law

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Please join Professors Kimberlé CrenshawMaeve GlassJamal GreeneBernard Harcourt, and Kendall Thomas in a thought-provoking discussion that challenges us to consider the constitutive role of slavery in American law starting in 1619, the first year enslaved African people were brought to North America. Light refreshments will be served.

Sponsors: Lawyers, Community, and Impact, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, the Office Student ServicesSocial Justice Initiatives, Student Affairs Administration, Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy StudiesEmpowering Women of ColorColumbia Journal of Race and LawBlack Law Students AssociationCenter for Constitutional Governance, and The Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 @ 4:20pm to 5:50pm, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 101

 

Understanding the Impeachment Process

Please join Professors Philip BobbittSarah Cleveland, and Jamal Greene for a discussion of the fast-developing presidential impeachment inquiry.  What happened with Ukraine?  What other grounds for impeachment might be considered?  How does the impeachment process work? How might it play out, and what are the possible consequences?   Lunch will be served.

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.  

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:00pm, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103

24th Annual U.S. Supreme Court Roundup

Watch the full event.

Professors Jamal GreeneThomas MerrillGillian Metzger, and Carol Sanger will discuss the key decisions from the past term and major cases in the upcoming term, as the effects of Justice Kennedy's retirement start to become evident in areas ranging from immigration to abortion, and from the Second Amendment to the law of democracy. Lunch will be served.

Sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact series, the Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, the Office of Student ServicesSocial Justice Initiatives, the American Constitution Society, and the Federalist Society.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103

 

Power Struggles: Cities, States, and the Federal Government

Professors Richard BriffaultJessica Bulman-PozenMaeve Glass, and Jedediah Purdy will discuss the growing partisan power struggles among cities, states, and the federal government.  As these governments preempt and react against each other, what is the impact in policy areas such as immigration, civil rights, and the environment?  Vice Dean of Intellectual Life Bert Huang will moderate. Lunch will be served.

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:00pm, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103

Video of the event

A Discussion of Immigration and Federal Detention Centers

Professor Elora Mukherjee, Sarah Stillman, and students enrolled in the Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic will discuss their experience working with families and migrants in federal detention centers. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.    

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 @ 4:20pm to 5:20pm Jerome Greene Hall, Room 101

Inaugural Summer Reading Book Talk & Reception

A discussion of Devil in the Grove with the author, Gilbert King, which will be moderated by Professor Olatunde Johnson. The discussion will be followed by an informal reception where first-year students will have a chance to meet and talk to faculty, SJI representatives, and other students. This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Devil in the Grove recounts the fascinating story of NAACP defense attorneys, including Thurgood Marshall and Jack Greenberg, and their audacious journey defending four young black men falsely accused of rape in Florida during the 1950s.

The discussion will be followed by a reception in Drapkin Lounge, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.

Hosted by SJI, BLSA, and NLG. 

Monday, September 17th, 2018 @4:30pm to 7:00pm in JGH 102B

 

The Fair Housing Act at 50:  A round table discussion on the past, present and future of integration in America

A roundtable discussion with Lance Freeman, Professor, Columbia School of Planning; Diane Houk '83, Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady (counsel in the fair housing challenge to Facebook among other high profile cases); Valerie Dent '93 -- First Deputy Commissioner, New York State Commission on Human Rights moderated by Professor Olatunde Johnson.  

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact Series, the Columbia School of Planning, and the CLS Journal of Race and the Law.

Our panelist bios. 
NFHA v. Facebook 
Easterchester Amended Complaint 

Monday, April 23rd, 2018 @ 12:10pm to 1:00pm in JG 104

Law and Politics in 2018

Professors Suzanne Goldberg, Jamal Greene, and Alex Raskolnikov will provide an update on legal, cultural, and policy responses to sexual assault; partisan gerrymandering; and tax reform. Professor Olatunde Johnson will moderate the discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Tuesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:10 pm to 1:10 pm in JG 103

Video of the event

Faculty Film Series: A Civil Action

Join Professors Philip Genty, Bert Huang, Olatunde Johnson, Thomas Lee, Benjamin Liebman, and Kristen Underhill. Snacks will be served.

Plot: The year is 1979.  The location is East Woburn, MA.  Two drinking wells supplying water to the town are found to be contaminated with industrial solvents.  Toxic waste is discovered the same year.  Are local factories to blame?  Residents think so.  Based on a true story. 

Co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 @ 4:20 pm to 6:20 pm in JG 104

An Update on Recent Developments in Law and Politics

Professor Kathryn Judge, Professor David Pozen, and Professor Elora Mukherjee will provide an update on the significance of recent legislation and policy addressing national security, speech, immigration, and financial regulation. A non-pizza lunch will be provided.

Co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 @ 12:10 pm to 1:10 pm in JG 103

The Impact of a Solid Majority on the Supreme Court

Professors Kellen Funk, Jamal Greene, Jameel Jaffer, and Gillian Metzger will discuss the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process and the impact a potential solid conservative majority might have on various constitutional law matters. Professor Olatunde Johnson will moderate. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community, and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 @ 12:10pm to 1:00pm in JG 103

Video of the event

Reflections on Charlottesville

Join Professor Olatunde Johnson, Professor Katherine Franke, Professor Jeremy Kessler, and Professor Kendall Thomas in a roundtable discussion on the history, law, and politics of the issues being raised as a result of the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Light refreshments will be served.

Suggested readings: “Donald Trump's Identity Politics” (The New York Times); “The ACLU's Free Speech Stance Should Be About Social Justice, Not ‘Timeless’ Principles” (Los Angeles Times); “Equality, Justice and the First Amendment” (ACLU Speak Freely blog); “ACLU of Virginia Response to Governor’s Allegations that ACLU is Responsible for Violence in Charlottesville” (ACLU); “The Debate Over Confederate Monuments” (Take Care blog).

Co-sponsored by the Lawyers, Community and Impact Series, the Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life, and the Office of Student Services.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 4:20  pm to 5:30 pm in Case Lounge

Good Old-Fashioned Park CleanUp!

In honor of Earth Day, join Student Services and Student Senate for a good old-fashioned cleanup of the 116th Street section of Morningside Park.

Should you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Friday, April 21st, 2017 @ 10:00am to 2:00pm at Morningside Park

Beyond the 1L Curriculum: Shelley v. Kraemer

In Shelley, the Supreme Court held that a state court could not enforce a racially restrictive covenant. Still, residential segregation by race is a persistent feature of American life. In this conversation, scholars of contracts, property, anti-discrimination, and constitutional law come together to talk across the curriculum about a landmark decision and its continuing legacy.

Thursday, April 14th, 2017 @ 4:45 pm to 6:45 pm in JG 103

Beyond the 1L Curriculum: Gideon v. Wainwright

More than half a century after the Supreme Court first declared a constitutional right to state-provided counsel for indigent criminal defendants, access to competent counsel remains one of the justice system's most vexing challenges. In this conversation, a scholar of criminal law, a judge and former prosecutor, and two clinical professors who have worked closely with indigent clients offer their unique perspectives on Gideon's legacy.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2017 @ 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm in JG 103

The Constitution in the Age of Trump

This panel will address the impact of the election on the constitutional dimensions and governance of the media, internet, press, national security and human rights. Confirmed panelists are Thomas Merrill (Charles Evens Hughes Professor of Law), Cristina Rodriguez (Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law), Jessica Bulman-Pozen (Professor of Law) and Jameel Jaffer (Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute). This panel will be moderated by Gillian Metzger (Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law).

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Constitutional GovernanceLawyers, Community and Impact, Vice-Dean of Intellectual Life  and Student Services. Light refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 @ 4:20pm to 6:00pm in JG 103

Video of the event

The Immigration Executive Orders: What We Know and What's Next

Join the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law Cristina Rodriguez,  Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law Jason Parkin, and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute Fellow Mr. Waleed Alhariri who will discuss the impact of President Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration. Lunch will be served.

Co-sponsored by Vice Dean of Intellectual Life, SJI, Human Rights Institute, Student Services, and the Lawyers, Community and Impact Series.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm in JG 106

What's Next for American Democracy?

Law, Culture, and Policy in an Age of Trump. Join Professors Tim Wu, Katharina Pistor, and Kristen Underhill for remarks and a discussion. Lunch will be served.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017, @ 12:10–1:10 p.m. in Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103

Video of the event

Pro Bono Opportunity: Election Protection

Help to ensure eligible voters are able to participate in our democracy while collecting data for meaningful reform so that our elections are free, fair, and accessible.

October 25th, 2016 @ 6:00pm to 7:00pm in JG 104

The Question of ID: Access to Vote and November 2016 Election 

Professor Richard Briffault and Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, will discuss the history of voter identification laws as well as the impact of recent federal judicial rulings related to various states’ passage of these laws.

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 @ 12:10 pm to 1:10 pm in JG 103

Materials from the event: Presentation 1Presentation 2

Video of the event

Policing the Police: The Future of Police Reform

A conversation with Professors Jeffrey Fagan and Olatunde Johnson will explore the possibilities and future of police reform in America.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 @ 12:10 pm to 1:10 pm in JG 103

Materials from the event: Presentation

Video of the event

Upcoming LCI Events