Lawyers, Community, and Impact

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.” 

Previous LCI Events

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

Video of the event

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

Video of the event

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

Video of the event

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

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

Video of the event

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming LCI Events