Special Guest Speaker

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Over 250 attend NWLS' Reception on May 7th, 5:30 PM at the Federal Courthouse, Erie, PA honoring the mission and 38 NWLS' original incorporators.  In 1969, 38 attorneys from the Erie County Bar Association came together with a vision of providing free legal help in civil cases to people who could not afford to hire an attorney. Northwestern Legal Services, and access to justice, is their legacy.  We are honored to have as our Special Guest and Speaker for the event, Charles J. Olgetree, Jr., Harvard Law School Professor, Jesse Climenko Professor of Law,  and Founder and Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist.

He has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law. Professor Ogletree has examined these issues not only in the classroom, on the Internet and in the pages of prestigious law journals, but also in the everyday world of the public defender in the courtroom and in public television forums where these issues can be dramatically revealed. Armed with an arsenal of facts, Charles Ogletree presents and discusses the challenges that face our justice system and its attempt to deliver equal treatment to all citizens. He furthers dialogue by insisting that the justice system protect rights guaranteed to those citizens by law.

Professor Ogletree’s most current book, released in January 2009, is titled When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice. He also authored From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America (2006) and his historical memoir, All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education (2004).
Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, California, where he attended public schools. He earned a M.A. and B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In 2008 Professor Ogletree was awarded the prestigious ABA Spirit of Excellence Award in recognition of his many contributions to the legal profession and was also named one of the 50 Most influential Minority Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal. In 2006, Professor Ogletree was named by Ebony Magazine as one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans. He received the first ever Rosa Parks Civil Rights Award given by the City of Boston, the Hugo A. Bedau Award given by the Massachusetts Anti-Death Penalty Coalition, and Morehouse College’s Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize.

Professor Ogletre' most recent books are  When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice and All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education.

Professor Charles J. Olgetree, Jr.
Keynote Speaker