Minnesota Law has a long history of welcoming national, state, and local leaders to speak to the Law School community and the public. Many of these events have been video recorded and are available for viewing (see links below).
Robert A. Stein Lecture
Professor Robert A. Stein, class of 1961, dean of the Law School for 15 years, and former chief operating officer of the American Bar Association, generously endowed this lecture series to enrich the program of the Law School by inviting leaders of the bench and bar and of the governments of the United States and other nations to deliver an annual lecture on a topic of national or international interest.
Past Stein Lectures
- 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
- 2016 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
- 2015 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
- 2014 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- 2013 Former U.S. Vice President Walter F. Mondale ‘56
Lee and Barbara D. Bearmon Lecture in Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
The Lee and Barbara D. Bearmon Lecture on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility is an endowed fund sponsored by Barbara and Lee ’56 Bearmon which supports examination and teaching of legal ethics and professional responsibility. The fund was created to foster awareness, interest, and research in legal ethics by providing the Law School with an opportunity to engage and present a distinguished speaker or to support an award honoring original student writing. Lee Bearmon served with the Carlson Company for 40 years as senior vice president, secretary, and private counsel and was a 1996 recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumni award.
Past Lee and Barbara D. Bearmon Lectures
- 2018 Award recipient: Joseph T. Janochoski ’18
- 2017 Award recipient: Amanda Molly McAllister ’17
- 2014 Paul Anderson ’68, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice
- 2012 Roshan N. Rajkumar ’00, partner at Bowman and Brooke; Law School adjunct professor teaching Law in Practice
- 2011 James M. Rosenbaum ’69, former U.S. District Court Judge
- 2010 Michelle Miller ’86, vice president and senior counsel in employment law and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Medtronic
- 2009 Kathleen Blatz ’84, former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice
- 2007 James T. Hale ‘65, former executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Target
John Dewey Lecture in the Philosophy of Law
This lecture is named in honor of John Dewey, American philosopher, educator, and scholar. A proponent of legal realism. Dewey’s philosophy of pragmatism related his conception of a moral life to a variety of contemporary social, economic, and political issues. Dewey lived from 1859 to 1952 and spent one year as a professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. The John Dewey lecture is funded by a grant from the John Dewey Foundation and is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Law School to provide a forum for significant scholarly contributions to the development of jurisprudence.
Past John Dewey Lectures
- 2015 Moshe Halbertal, Gruss Professor, NYU Law School; Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Hebrew University; Professor of Law, IDC. Protecting Civilians: Moral Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare
- 2013 Tyler Cowen, Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics, George Mason University. Is America Coming Out of its Great Stagnation?
- 2012 Justice Richard Goldstone, served as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The Current State of International Criminal Justice
- 2009 Antony Duff, Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Stirling, Scotland. In Search of a Theory of Criminal Law?
- 2009 John M. Finnis, Professor of Law & Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford. Does Free Exercise of Religion Deserve Constitutional Mention?
- 2008 Angela P. Harris, University of California School of Law, Berkeley. The ‘L’ Word: Love in the Restorative Justice Movement and in Legal Theory
- 2006 George P. Fletcher, Professor, Columbia University School of Law. The Law of War and Its Pathologies
- 2005 Joseph Raz, Professor of the Philosophy of Law, Balliol College at Oxford University and a Professor of Law at Columbia University. The Problem of Authority
- 2005 John Freejohn, Carolyn S. G. Munro Professor of Political Science, Stanford University. Democratic Constitutionalism
- 2003 Cass R. Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School. Moral Heuristics. How Simple Moral Rules Produce Big Moral Blunders
- 2003 Robin West, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center. The External Morality of Law
- 2000 Robert C. Post, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley. Supreme Court Decision-making in the 1920s
- 2000 Professor Neil MacCormick, Centre for Law and Society, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Institution and Reason in Law
- 1999 Professor Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School. Is Law Good to Think With?
- 1997 Ronald Dworkin
- 1996 Jules L. Coleman
- 1995 Martha Nussbaum
- 1994 Frank I. Michelman
- 1993 Margaret Jane Radin
- 1992 Anthony Kronman
- 1991 Barbara Aronstein Black
- 1987 Kenneth S. Lynn
- 1986 The Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr.
- 1984 Daniel J. Boorstin
- 1981 Harry W. Jones
Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Distinguished Visitor Lecture
The late Curtis B. Kellar, Class of 1940, established the Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Distinguished Visitors Program in memory of this father in 1996. In keeping with his father’s many interests, Curtis Kellar’s desire was to support an interdisciplinary lecture series at the Law School that would connect emerging issues in the law with other disciplines, such as art, drama, and literature. Mr. Kellar retired in 1981 as an Associate General Counsel of Mobil Oil Corp. He served on the Board of Directors of the Law Alumni Association and the Board of Visitors of the Law School.
Past Kellar Lectures
- 2018 Michael Posner, Director of NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights and Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Human Rights Milestones: Progress, Challenges, and the Way Forward
- 2017 Ari Melber, MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent and host of The Beat. First Amendment Freedom in the Trump Era
- 2016 Glenn Altschuler, Dean, School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions; Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies; Weiss Presidential Fellow, Cornell University. Justice Amidst a Media Frenzy: The McMartin Pre-School Sex Abuse Case
- 2013 Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, NYU-Stern School of Business. Moral Psychology and the Law: How Institutions Drive Reasoning, Judgement, and the Search for Evidence
- 2011 Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland. Law as an Instrument of Change
- 2010 Nicola Lacey, Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory, London School of Economics and Political Science. Could He Forgive Her? Gender, Agency, and Criminality in 19th Century Law and Literature
- 2009 Nadine Strossen, Professor, New York Law School. Current Challenges to Free Speech
- 2007 Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times. What Would Justice Powell Do? The “Alien Children” Case and the Meaning of Equal Protection
- 2007 Reed Hundt, Principal, Charles Ross Partners, LLC, A private investor and advisory service. In China’s Shadow: The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship
- 2006 Scott Turow, Author. It’s Only Words: Thoughts of a Lawyer & Novelist
- 2004 W. Richard West, Jr., Director, National Museum of the American Indian; Native America in the 21st Century. Out of the Mists and Beyond Myth
- 2004 Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Yale Law School. The Star Wars Effect: Just War Theory in Popular Film
- 2002 Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Professor of Communications and Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communications, University of Pennsylvania. The Demise of Fact in Political Debate
- 2001 Dr. David L. Goodstein, Vice Provost and Professor of Physics & Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology. What is Science?
- 2001 Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Stanford University Law School. Innovation and the Net
- 1999 Mr. I. Michael Heyman, Secretary, Smithsonian Institute and Former Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. Culture and Process: A Lawyer’s View of the Smithsonian
- 1998 David Halberstam
MLK Convocation in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In 2016, the University of Minnesota Law School and its Diversity Committee launched the first Annual MLK Convocation in an effort to bring all members of the Law School community together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and reflect on the continued relevance of his work in our legal community.
Past MLK Convocations
William B. Lockhart Lecture
This annual lecture honors William B. Lockhart, dean of the University of Minnesota Law School from 1956-72. Instrumental in enriching the Law School curriculum and attracting highly qualified faculty and students, he also cultivated a strong relationships with the Minnesota Bar, which continues to provide essential support to the Law School. During his 28 years as a professor at the Law School (1946-74), he shared his gifts of teaching excellence and scholarly leadership with students and faculty. After retiring at Minnesota, Dean Lockhart taught on the faculty of the University of California, Hastings College of Law (1974-94). He died in December 1995.
Past Lockhart Lectures
- 2014 Judge Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Are Federal Regulators a Law Unto Themselves?
- 2013 A. Douglas Melamed, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Intel Corporation. Lawyers as Conflict Engineers
- 2011 Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of Laws, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and co-director of the University College London Judicial Institute. England’s Lessons on Judicial Selection
- 2010 Andrew Ashworth, Vinerian Professor of English Law, University of Oxford. Crimes of Possession: The Liberal Criminal Lawyer at the Edge
- 2009 Judge Guido Calabresi, US Circuit Court. Equality in the American Constitution?
- 2009 Aharon Barak, Former President of the Supreme Court of Israel. Human Rights in Time of Terror: A Judicial Point of View
- 2008 Heather K. Gerken, Yale Law School. Getting from Here to There in Election Reform
- 2006 Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School. The National Surveillance State
- 2005 William Eskridge, Jr., John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School. Lessons from Thirty-Five Years of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate
- 2004 Mary Anne Case, Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School. Marriage Licenses
- 2003 Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interst Law, Stanford Law School. Pricking the Lines: The Due Process Clause, Punitive Damages, and Criminal Punishment
- 2002 Pamela Samuelson, Professor, University of California Law School, Berkeley. Constitutional Dimensions of Intellectual Property
- 2001 Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard University Law School. On Their Own: Women, Divorce and Bankruptcy
- 2001 Professor Thomas C. Grey, Nelson Bowman Sweitzer and Marie B Sweitzer Professor of Law, Stanford University Law School. The New Formalism
- 1999 Deborah L. Rhode. The Professional Responsibilities of Professionals
- 1999 Professor Herbert Hovenkamp, University of Iowa College of Law. Knowledge About Welfare
- 1998 Carol Marguerite Rose
- 1997 The Honorable Ellen A. Peters
- 1996 Mark V. Tushnet
- 1995 Martha L. Minnow
- 1994 Douglas Laycock
- 1993 Kathleen M. Sullivan
- 1992 The Honorable Guido Calabresi
- 1991 The Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.
- 1990 The Honorable Shirley S. Abrahamson
- 1989 Lea Brilmayer
- 1988 The Honorable Robert E. Keeton
- 1987 The Honorable Patricia M. Wald
- 1986 Kenneth Culp Davis
- 1984 Arthur R. Miller
- 1983 The Honorable Carl McGowan
- 1982 Jesse H. Choper
- 1981 William B. Lockhart
- 1980 Edward C. Halbach, Jr.
- 1979 Joseph L. Rauth, Jr.
- 1978 Frank Michelman
- 1977 Charles Frankel
- 1976 Louis Henkin