Through the 2016-2017 school year, JLPA continued its tradition of holding a weekly independent research seminar through which JLPA hosted several speakers to discuss a wide range of topics.

Some seminar events were open to the wider Penn Law and University of Pennsylvania community, while others were hosted in a more intimate setting with just JLPA members. For larger events, JLPA collaborated with various other organizations, including the Penn Law Chapter of the Federalist Society, the Penn Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society, the Youth Advocacy Project, the Penn Law Muslim Law Students Association, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, the University of Pennsylvania School of Policy and Practice, the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences, and the Fels Institute of Government, among others.

The seminar topics were divided into two “sub-themes” – each of which fit under our yearlong theme of “Achieving Equality and the Role of the Government.”

During the fall semester, our seminars focused on “Equality and Access to the Political Process.” Fall speakers discussed different key legal issues that impact the political process, including state voter identification laws, campaign finance regulation, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the electoral college system.

During the spring semester, our seminars focused on “Substantive Equality through Policy.” Spring speaker topics span a wide range of topics, including educational equality, religious tolerance, energy policy, and affirmative action.

Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, the independent research seminar hosted the following speakers:

  • Frank Goodman – Scholar in Constitutional Theory and Federalism and Professor of Law at Penn Law
  • Deuel Ross – Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fun
  • Richard H. Pildes – Scholar in Constitutional Law, Former Law Clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU Law
  • David Adamany – Late Professor of Law at Temple University School of Law and Former President of Temple University
  • Jerry H. Goldfeder – Special Counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Professor of Law at Penn Law, and Author of Goldfeder’s Modern Election Law (treatise)
  • David B. Glancey – Director of Special Projects at the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Government and Community Affairs
  • Joshua A. Douglas – Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law
  • Steven M. Cohen – Former Counsel and Chief of Staff for Governor Cuomo and Former Chief of the Violent Gangs Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York
  • Wendy S. White – Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine
  • JoAnne A. Epps – Provost and Executive Vice President of Temple University
  • Serena Mayeri – Scholar in American Legal History, Employment Discrimination Law, and Family Law and Professor of Law and History at Penn Law
  • Kermit Roosevelt – Scholar in Constitutional Law, Conflicts of Law, and Federal Jurisdiction and Professor of Law at Penn Law

For the remaining seminars, we will be hosting the following speakers:

  • Otis Hackney – Chief Education Officer for the City of Philadelphia
  • Sharif Street – Pennsylvania State Senator for the 3rd District