On Thursday, November 12, Patricia J. Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University, will deliver the 2009 William H. Leary Lecture, titled “The Paradox of Race: Reflections on the Not-So-Level Playing Field,” at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, 332 S. 1400 East. The event will take place at 6:00 p.m., in the College’s Sutherland Moot Court Room. It will be preceded by a pre-lecture reception at 5:30 p.m.
Williams is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University School of Law. As a law professor, she has testified before congress, acted as a consultant and coordinator for a variety of public interest lawsuits, and served as a past member of the boards of the Center for Constitutional Rights, of the Society of American Law Teachers, and of the National Organization for Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund.
She has authored numerous articles for scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers including USA Today, Harvard Law Review, Tikkun, the New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Ms. magazine, and the Village Voice. She writes the monthly “Diary of a Mad Law Professor” for The Nation magazine. Her wry, witty columns cover broad issues of social justice, including the rhetoric of the war on terror, race, ethnicity, gender, all aspects of civil rights law, forensic uses of DNA, and comparative issues of class and culture in the U.S., France, and Britain.
Williams’ book, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, was named one of the twenty-five best books of 1991 by the Voice Literary Supplement and one of the “feminist classics of the last twenty years” that “literally changed women’s lives,” by Ms. magazine’s Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Her newest book is titled Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and a Search for a Room of My Own – personal collection of stories, essays, anecdotes, and biography.
A graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School, Williams has served on faculties of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, Harvard University’s Women’s Studies Program, and the City University of New York Law School at Queen’s College. Before entering academia, she practiced law, as a consumer advocate and Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, and as a staff attorney for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. She is the recipient of the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley, the Graduate Society Medal from Harvard, and the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.
The Leary Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 801-581-4640.