Law School Holds Arthur Liman Public Interest Programs

Yale Law School’s Arthur Liman Public Interest Program will host two events on November 5: a panel discussion and an inaugural lecture. Both events honor the life and work of the late Arthur Liman ‘57, in whose name a professorship and a public interest program have been instituted at Yale. Both events are free and the public is welcome.

The panel discussion, “Prisons and Courts: Attica and Reform,” will take place at 2 p.m. in Room 127 of the Sterling Law Building at 127 Wall St. At 4 p.m., also in Room 127, Professor Judith Resnik will deliver the inaugural Arthur Liman Lecture, titled “Trial as Error.”

The panel, moderated by Yale Law School Dean Anthony Kronman, will consider contemporary prison issues in light of the recommendations of the 1972 report of the New York State Special Commission on Attica, for which Arthur Liman served as chief counsel.

Cosponsored by Yale Law School and PublicAffairs Press, the panel has been timed to coincide with the publication of “Lawyer: A Life of Counsel and Controversy,” Arthur Liman’s powerful account of his life in the law.

Panelists include Paul J. Curran, special counsel at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler and chairman of the board of Prisoners’ Legal Services; Dennis E. Curtis, clinical professor of law at Yale Law School and founder of the law school legal assistance programs for prisoners; Harlon L. Dalton, professor of law at Yale Law School and a law student volunteer on the New York State Special Commission on Attica; Brett Dignam, clinical professor of law at Yale Law School and a litigator for women at Danbury Prison; Eddie Ellis, director, Community Justice Center, New York City; Michael Quinlan, former director, U.S. Bureau of Prisons; Steven B. Rosenfeld, partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and deputy general counsel for the New York State Special Commission on Attica; and Tom Wicker, former columnist for The New York Times and author of “A Time to Die,” an account of the Attica prison revolt. Panelists will be introduced by Burke Marshall, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor Emeritus of Law and George W. Crawford Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and a member of the New York State Special Commission on Attica.

Resnik joined the Yale Law School faculty in 1997. Her teaching and writing focus on procedure, the federal courts, federalism, large-scale litigation and feminist theory. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the New York University School of Law, she joined the faculty at the University of Southern California in 1980, after having taught in the clinical program at Yale Law School. She has been a visiting faculty member at Harvard, the University of Chicago and New York University.

Resnik’s intellectual interest, scholarship and work within the legal profession reflect her commitment to enabling women to participate fully in the lives of their communities. She has addressed issues of entry, access and participation of women in a wide array of settings, from the federal courts, as lawyers; to the federal prison system, as incarcerated inmates; to legal education, as professors and students; to legal practice, as lawyers and judges. She has contributed to the restructuring of theories of federalism through the lens of feminism and has explored the role of feminism in the developing discipline of law and literature.

Resnik was a member of the Ninth Circuit Gender Bias Task Force, which was the first within the federal system to report on the effects of gender in a federal circuit court. Her honors include the National Association of Women Judges Florence K. Murray Award in 1993, and, most recently, the Margaret Brent Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. She has coauthored two books with Yale Law School professors Owen Fiss and the late Robert Cover.

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program was established in 1997 in memory of Arthur Liman, and reflects the breadth of his interests, concerns and commitments. While working as a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and providing counsel to a range of corporate and individual clients, Liman also led several major institutions devoted to providing services to those who could not afford lawyers. He was president of the Legal Aid Society of New York, chaired the board that created the Legal Action Center, served on the board of the Vera Institute for Justice, was the founding president of Neighborhood Legal Services of Harlem, and helped form the Capital Defender Project of New York when that state instituted a death penalty.

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program supports fellowships for Yale Law School graduates involved in public interest work in a law-related endeavor. Current recipients and their projects are: – Julia Greenfield ‘98, working with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area to help protect the employment rights of San Francisco workfare workers; – Lisa Daugaard ‘92, forming a community organization to develop criminal justice policies in Seattle; – Douglas Stevick ‘96, working to educate, advocate for, and litigate for migrant farm workers in Texas; – and the Phillips Brooks House at Harvard University, working on projects on employment rights, domestic abuse, landlord-tenant problems, criminal justice and small claims.

Last year’s grants went to Alison Hirschel ‘84, to establish the Arthur Liman Project on Advocacy for the Institutionalized Elderly in Michigan; and the Legal Action Center in New York City, to create the Arthur Liman Policy Institute to address criminal justice reform, substance abuse and the spread of AIDS.

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