Experts Examine Images of Public Service

Nationally renowned lawyers, academics and civic leaders will discuss emerging visions of public service in its many manifestations at a symposium titled “The Recovery of the Public World: Reviving Democracy” on Wednesday and Thursday, April 9 and 10, at Yale Law School. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium “will explore emerging visions of a civil society which transcend the old divisions of liberal and conservative private and public; examine ways of integrating religious and spiritual traditions with public service work; and identify strategies for reviving a participatory democracy,” says Susan Feathers, symposium organizer and director of public service, counseling and programs at the Law School. The symposium seeks to spark student interest in public service by bringing together people who have devoted several decades of their careers to serving the community, she adds.

Jim Wallis, author of “Soul of Politics” and founder of Sojourners magazine, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. on April 9 in the faculty lounge of the Law School, 127 Wall St.

There will be three panels on Saturday, all in Rm. 127 of the Law School: “Compassionate Action” at 1 p.m., “Public Citizen” at 2:30 p.m. and “Democracy in Action” at 4:15 p.m. Professor Stephen Wizner of the Law School and Dean Anthony Kronman will moderate the first two panels, respectively.

Panelists include:

Evan A. Davis, a partner at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York and a member of the New York State Bar Association committee charged with revising the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Claire Lynn Gaudiani, president of Connecticut College, who has become nationally known for her stance that teaching and preaching civic virtues are necessary to create a high quality of life in the emerging democracies of an increasingly diverse world.

Daniel Greenberg, executive director and attorney-in-chief of the Legal Aid Society in New York.

Sister Mary Ellen Burns, a 1989 graduate of the Law School and a staff attorney at the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation’s Public Benefits Unit, who was previously associated with Covenant House.

Cornell William Brooks, a 1990 graduate of both the Law and Divinity schools, and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Judge William Wayne Justice of the Eastern District of Texas, who has become nationally renowned for his enforcement of constitutional rights in the many civil rights and institutional cases that have come before his court.

Jonathan Boyarin, a Law School student and anthropologist, whose books include “Thinking in Jewish” and “Palestine and Jewish History.”

Also taking part in the symposium will be representatives from the Public Citizen Litigation Group, a public interest law firm known for its work in separation of powers, administrative and First Amendment litigation; America Speaks, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to involve community-minded citizens with what is happening in the nation’s capital; the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law; and the National Voting Rights Institute, which is challenging the constitutionality of the current campaign finance system in federal, state and local elections.

For further information, call 203 432-1676.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325