The Quinnipiac University School of Law will celebrate the 50th anniversary of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s swearing in at the 2017 Koskoff Symposium, “The Life and Legacy of Thurgood Marshall,” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, in the Ceremonial Courtroom, 370 Bassett Road. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by calling 203-582-3200 or visiting Quinnipi.ac/KoskoffSymposium17.
“The symposium will celebrate the October 2017 release of ‘Marshall,’ a film about him, and will examine his early career as a civil rights lawyer, his path breaking work at the NAACP and his decisions on the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Jennifer Gerarda Brown, dean of the School of Law. “We will gather historians, civil rights activists, former law clerks and friends to recall, analyze and honor the work of Thurgood Marshall.”
Michael Koskoff, a prominent Connecticut lawyer who is one of the screenwriters of the new film, also will attend.
Brown said the symposium will use the film and a broader view of Marshall’s career to argue that what we now refer to as the Civil Rights Movement of the second half of the 20th century began long before Brown v. Topeka Board of Education and the nonviolent protests of the 1950s-’60s. Many lawyers, black and white, including Marshall, were on the front line of the movement.
“At enormous risk, they took up cases to remedy discrimination against African-American litigants and often paid a heavy price for their brave commitment to justice,” Brown said.
David Wilkins, Lester Kissel Professor of Law and director of the Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School, will kick off the symposium by discussing “Black Lawyers in the Early Years of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Quinnipiac Law Professor Marilyn Ford will moderate the first panel, “Marshall’s Lawyering Years.” She will be joined by Larry Gibson, professor of law at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law; Bernard Lafayette, chairman of the board, Southern Christian Leadership Conference.; Daniel Sharfstein, professor of law, professor of history, and co-director, George Barrett Social Justice Program, Vanderbilt Law School; and Kenneth G. Standard, counsel in the employment, labor and workforce management practice and general counsel emeritus at Epstein Becker Green.
Quinnipiac Professor of Law Emeritus Martin Margulies will moderate the second panel, “Marshall on the Court.” He will be joined by the Hon. Victor A. Bolden, U.S. district judge for the District of Connecticut; Susan Low Bloch, professor of law, Georgetown; Howard Glickstein, dean emeritus and professor of law, Touro Law Center; and Daniel Richman, Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law, Columbia.