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Annual Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Lecture

Each year, one or more leading members of the bench or the bar address/es the School of Law community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - on a law-related topic of interest.  Some of the nation's most respected civil rights and other public interest, public policy or public service attorneys, as well as the Attorney General and two sitting US Supreme Court Justices have honored us with their participation.

The Annual Joe Rauh Lecture is always open to the public, free of charge, and followed by a reception - a tradition of which we are certain Joe Rauh would have heartily approved!

Past Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Lecturers

2014 Secretary of Labor Tom Perez
(Quotes, Photos, Video)
2013 Senator Elizabeth Warren
(Watch Senator Warren's Lecture)
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
(Read more)
Harold Koh, Legal Adviser of the Department of State
(Read more)
Attorney General Eric Holder
(Read Attorney General Eric Holder's speech on the UDC-DCSL model)
2009 Senator Patrick Leahy
(Watch Senator Leahy's lecture on YouTube)
2008 Vernon Jordan
2007 Nina Totenberg interviewed by Wade Henderson
2006 Theodore M. Shaw
2005 Congressman Barney Frank
2004 Congressman John Lewis
2003 Marian Wright Edelman
2002 Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ralph Neas and Wade Henderson on "Civil Rights in the 21st Century"
2001 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(Read Justice Ginsburg's speech, "In Pursuit of the Public Good: Lawyers who Care")
2000 Charles Ruff
1999 The Sleep Room (an award-winning film about Joe Rauh's last case)
1998 Jack Greenberg
1997 Elaine Jones
1996 Father Robert Drinan
1995 Rick Seymour
1994 Judith Lichtman & Roger Wilkins
1993 William Taylor

About Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.

Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.Joe Rauh may not have invented public interest law, but he certainly perfected it. For more than half a century, Joe championed the under-dog, the disenfranchised, and all minorities. His widely-known battles for civil rights, civil liberties, and equal access to justice are the essence of public interest law.

Less well known was Joe's vision of a wholly new approach to legal education tied to the practice of public interest law. Joe believed law students should "learn by doing," not just by reading cases. To Joe, this meant not only expanded clinical education within conventional law schools, but much more.

Joe envisioned a law school that would function as a training ground for public interest lawyers: a school where law students could learn basic skills and represent the underrepresented at the same time, a school that made dedication to public service a criterion for admission, and commitment to public service a life-long responsibility. The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law is Joe's dream come true. A founding member of the Law School's Board of Governors, Joe remained one of its staunchest supporters until his last hours with us.


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