From Immigration to Health Care, UVA Law Symposium to Bring Together Scholars, Practitioners on Social Issues
A five-day symposium at the University of Virginia School of Law will bring together top legal scholars and practitioners to discuss a number of important social issues, including immigration reform, women in combat, the role of super PACs in politics and health care reform.
The Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law's 2013 symposium, "Theory and Practice," seeks to bridge the academy and real-world legal practice by featuring discussions led by lawyers directly involved with each issue and professors conducting academic research that informs policy changes and legal responses in the world. The symposium — which will be held Monday, Feb. 18 to Friday, Feb. 22 — is open to the public and parking is available in Law School lots after 5 p.m., as well as during a lunchtime talk on Friday.
"The Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law is celebrating its 20th year, and we are excited to mark that anniversary with a weeklong speaker series," said third-year law student Megan McFadden, the journal's editor-in-chief. "The series pairs some of UVA's best social policy scholars with lawyers from the community who put their theories into practice."
On Monday, UVA law professor Anne Coughlin, who led a group of students that inspired a federal lawsuit challenging the military's ban on women in combat, will appear alongside Megan Keane, an attorney from the law firm Covington & Burling, which filed the lawsuit on a pro bono basis in May 2012.
The following day, the symposium will focus on the current status of immigration reform with a talk by UVA law professor David Martin — who served as principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security from January 2009 to December 2010, as well as general counsel to the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the late 1990s — and Laura Lichter, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
On Wednesday, UVA law professor James Ryan and Angela Ciolfi, director of the JustChildren program of the Legal Aid Justice Center, will speak on "Poverty as Disability: Neuroscience, Poor Children and Special Education." (More) Ryan and Ciolfi will explore how recent research suggests that children from low-income families may develop real learning disabilities because of poverty, and yet they are often excluded from special education.
Judy Feder, a nationally recognized leader in health policy and a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, will give the keynote address on Thursday, titled "Obamacare: Government Overreach or an Exercise of Moderation?"
And on Friday, the symposium will conclude with a lunchtime talk on super PACs — independent political action committees that can contribute to candidates or parties but without any legal limit on donation size — and the role they played in the 2012 election. The talk will be presented by UVA law professor Michael Gilbert and Joseph Birkenstock, a lawyer with the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, which advised Stephen Colbert on his super PAC activities.
5:15 p.m. | WB102
"The Fight to Fight: Eliminating the Ban on Women in Combat"
- Anne Coughlin, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Megan Keane , associate, Covington & Burling
Refreshments will be provided.
5 p.m. | WB 102
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2013?"
- Moderator: Kerry Abrams, Albert Clark Tate, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- David Martin, Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, Joel B. Piassick Research Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Laura Lichter, president, American Immigration Lawyers Association
5:15 p.m. | WB102
"Poverty as Disability: Neuroscience, Poor Children and Special Education"
- James Ryan, William L. Matheson & Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law, F. Palmer Weber Research Professor of Civil Liberties and Human Rights, University of Virginia School of Law
- Angela A. Ciolfi '03, legal director, JustChildren Program, Legal Aid Justice Center
5:15 p.m. | Caplin Pavilion
"Obamacare: Government Overreach or an Exercise of Moderation?"
- Judy Feder, professor of public policy, Georgetown Public Policy Institute; Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
12:30 p.m. | WB126
"Fact and Fiction: The Role of Super PACs in the 2012 Elections?"
- Michael Gilbert, associate professor of law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Joseph Birkenstock, Caplin & Drysdale, former chief counsel of the Democratic National Committee