Author, Scholar Elyn Saks to Speak About Experience with Schizophrenia

April 20, 2009

Elyn Saks, author of the acclaimed memoir "The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness," will speak Wednesday at the Law School about her experiences as a mental health law scholar and a person struggling with schizophrenia.

Elyn Saks

Saks, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, will deliver the 13th P. Browning Hoffman Memorial Lecture in Law and Psychiatry at 4:30 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion.

"Professor Saks is a distinguished scholar of mental health law whose work has addressed patients' rights to refuse treatment, informed consent, decisional capacity and criminal responsibility," said Law School Professor Richard Bonnie. "Remarkably, Professor Saks has accumulated these achievements while struggling with schizophrenia."

The talk, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy and the Schools of Law and Medicine. Parking is available at the Law School.

Saks is Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is also associate dean for research at the USC Law School; adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; and research clinical associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

Saks writes extensively in the area of law and mental health, and has published four books and more than two dozen articles. She is an elected member of the American Law Instituteand has been awarded numerous awards, including USC's 2004 Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship and 2004 and 2007 Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award; The Books for a Better Life Inspirational Memoir Award; and Top Ten Nonfiction Book of the Year from Time MagazineSaks is on the board of several mental health nonprofits, including the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C., and Mental Health Advocacy Services in Los Angeles.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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