Past Events

Spring 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Important Rights are at Risk! Combating Harmful Deregulation 

The Impact Center’s Regulatory Response Group held a discussion on how Congress and President Trump are using the Congressional Review Act to repeal important public protections.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

IMPACT TODAY! Lunch series – Program 5: Immigration Rights

Part of a semester-long, biweekly lunch series on how the new administration will impact civil rights and civil liberties.

Professors Lenni B. Benson and Claire R. Thomas discussed the changing immigration environment under the Trump administration. Specific topics included immigration rights, immigrants’ access to accurate information, as well as careers in immigration law.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Equal Educational Opportunity Symposium

Topics included: Desegregation, Integration, and Equality, Title IX and Gender Equity, Educating Children with Disabilities

More information here

CLE Materials

Panelist Biographies

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

IMPACT Today! Lunch Series – Program 4: Voting Rights and Election Reform

Part of a semester-long, biweekly lunch series on how the new administration will impact civil rights and civil liberties.

Leah Aden, Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Carlin Meyer, Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School, discussed voting rights and election reform issues nationally and in New York State.  Specific topics included voter ID laws, redistricting, early voting, and felony disenfranchisement.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

IMPACT Today! Lunch Series – Program 3: Reproductive Rights

Part of a semester-long, biweekly lunch series on how the new administration will impact civil rights and civil liberties.

How will the change in administration affect reproductive rights? What legal obstacles may confront the administration in its efforts to change policy? How can students get involved? Erin Beth Harrist, Senior Staff Attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union led this discussion.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Legal Observer Training with Johanna Miller ’07 of the New York Civil Liberties Union  

Students were trained to become a certified legal observers for the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Certified legal observers observe protests and marches on the NYCLU’s behalf to ensure that individual rights are respected.

The training – by Johanna Miller ’07. Advocacy Director for the NYCLU – focused on which law enforcement activities to look for when monitoring a protest, how to document and photograph your observations, and how to stay safe while doing so.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IMPACT Today! Lunch Series: LGBT Rights 

Part of a semester-long, biweekly lunch series on how the new administration will impact civil rights and civil liberties.

How will the change in administration affect LGBT rights? How will the appointment of Judge Neil Grouch change the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court, which will likely rule on several issues important to the LGBT community over the next year? Professor Art Leonard led a discussion on the changing legal landscape.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Trump Administration and Its Implications for Economic Justice 

Speakers included Janet Sabel, Chief Deputy Attorney General, NYS Attorney General’s Office, David Jones, President and CEO, Community Service Society, Paul Sonn, General Counsel and Program Director, National Employment Law Project, David Udell, Executive Director, National Center for Access to Justice.

CLE Materials HERE

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Impact Today! Lunch Series – Executive Power

What, exactly, does the Constitution allow the President to do? What are the limits of presidential power over foreign affairs, national security, law enforcement, or domestic policy? Professors Doni Gewirtzman and Rebecca Roiphe discussed the scope of executive power in the age of Trump.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Family, Gender, and Juvenile Justice: A conference to explore the roles of gender and family for NYC youth involved with the juvenile justice system

Speakers included: Angela Albertus, Chief, Family Court Division, NYC Law Department, Ana Bermúdez, Commissioner, NYC Department of Probation, Jeannette Bocanegra, Director of Family Engagement, Community Connections for Youth, Gladys Carrión, Former Commissioner, NYC Administration for Children’s Services and NYS Office of Children and Family Services, Anthony W. Crowell, Dean & President, NYLS, Hon. Jacqueline Deane, NYC Family Court, Jennifer Ferone, Research Project Dir., Center on Youth Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, Felipe Franco, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Administration for Children’s Services, Lisa F. Grumet, Director, Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children & Families, NYLS, Kim Hawkins, Professor of Law, NYLS, Jeremy C. Kohomban, President and CEO, The Children’s Village, Sarah Mikhail, Director of Families and Opportunities, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Lindsay Rosenthal, Sr. Program Assoc. & Gender Justice Fellow, Vera Institute of Justice, Tamara Steckler, Attorney-in-Charge, Juvenile Rights Practice, The Legal Aid Society

Co-sponsored by Children’s Defense Fund – New York

CLE (3.0 Credits, Areas of Professional Practice, Transitional and Non-transitional)

CLE Materials: Please click here.

Data Presentation: Please click here.

OJJDP Policy Guidance on Girls and the Juvenile Justice System: Please click here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Fight for Housing Justice: Activism, Law, Policy and Perspectives

This symposium – exclusively for attorneys and paralegals with two years or less of housing advocacy experience – featured experts, advocates, academics, and activists from a variety of communities and backgrounds.

Speakers addressed the history of the housing movement, current struggles and the roles attorneys can play in advocating for housing rights and housing justice.

CLE Materials HERE

Fall 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Presidential Election and the Muslim Community: Charting a Path Forward

The Impact Center hosted an engaging and timely panel discussion about the impact of the presidential election on the Muslim community.

Speakers include Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; Debbie Almontaser, President, Board of Directors, Muslim Community Network; and Sadiq Reza, Professor of Law, New York Law School.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Social Justice Salon Series – The Quest for Social Justice: Is Law School Part of the Problem?

The Social Justice Salon Series is an opportunity for students, faculty and administrators to explore critical social justice issues in an informal and relaxed setting. This discussion was led by Professor Doni Gewirtzman.

Recommended reading: excerpts from Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy by Duncan Kennedy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

From Warner Bros. Heir to Racial Justice Advocate: Discussion with Lewis M. Steel ’63

For the last 50 years, Lewis Steel ’63 has dedicated his career to advancing civil rights and racial justice. The Impact Center hosted him to discuss his published memoir The Butler’s Child: An Autobiography.  This book captures his extraordinary life, from his roots as a Warner Bros. heir to his work on historic civil rights and anti discrimination litigation. Mr. Steel discussed his memoir, as well as his perspectives on the challenges to reforming our criminal justice system and achieving racial justice.

RSVP here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Poetry Reading and Discussion – What Lawyers Can Learn from the Language of Poetry: Three Poets Read Poems Touching On Identity (Gender, Race, National Origin).

The poetry reading was followed by an open discussion of how we might learn from and use the language of poetry as a tool in our efforts to persuade in both written and oral legal arguments.
Moderated by Professor Susan Abraham, who also read, joined by poets Gbenga Adesina and Andres Cerpa.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Election, The Supreme Court, The Constitution, and The Rule of Law: A Panel Discussion on Law and the Implications of the Presidential Election

The first Impact Thursday event of the year featured Professor Richard Epstein of NYU Law, Professor Jamal Greene of Columbia Law School and Professor Nadine Strossen of NYLS.

CLE materials HERE.

Video of the panel HERE.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Salon Series: Should 16-year-olds accused of crimes be tried as adults?

The debate over raising the age of criminal responsibility. Professor Kim Hawkins led this discussion.

Reading: Sarah Childress, More Status Consider Raising the Age for Juvenile Crime, FRONTLINE (June 2, 2016):

Spring 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 6:30 – 8pm, NYLS Events Center

Avonte’s Law and The Safety Of Children With Autism in Public Schools

Following the tragic death of Avonte Oquendo, the NYC Council passed “Avonte’s Law,” designed to improve the safety of NYC School buildings and prevent tragedies like Avonte’s death. Attendees learned more about Avonte’s Law and the safety of children with autism.

Introductory remarks by Daniel Oquendo, NYLS 2L. Featured speakers: Gary S. Mayerson, founder of Mayerson & Associates, the first civil rights law firm in the nation dedicated to representing individual with autism and related developmental disorders, Lindsey Naeder of Autism Speaks Family Services.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 6:30pm – 8pm, NYLS Events Center

Alan Gartner Memorial Lecture on Civil Rights 

We celebrated the life and work of Alan Gartner, who dedicated his life to improving society through civil rights and education. Alan was leader of Boston CORE and Suffolk County OEO, head of Special Education in the NYC public schools, professor at Queens College, and director of the CUNY Graduate Center. He served as director of the NYC Redistricting Commission and in executive roles throughout the Bloomberg administration. Alan published more than two dozen books, including on school restructuring, inclusion and reform.

Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, delivered the lecture. Under Donna’s leadership, the NYCLU supplemented and strengthened its litigation with legislative advocacy and field organizing. The NYCLU is recognized as one of the State’s leading voices for freedom, justice, and equality, advocating for those whose rights and liberties have been denied, especially those most marginalized by society.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 5pm – 6pm, NYLS Boardroom

Free Speech and The Presidential Campaign

What are the free speech/equality rights of candidates, their supporters, and protestors at Presidential campaign rallies? Professor Nadine Strossen led this timely discussion.

Reading: The New York Times, “Room for Debate: Should Trump Be Allowed to Kick Protesters Out of His Rallies?” (3/15/16), featuring commentary by Professor Strossen, Eugene Puryear, Andrew King and Jeffrey Blehar.


Friday, April 8, 2016, NYLS Auditorium & Events Center

Equal Before The Law? Civil Rights and Access to Justice

Equality before the law is a central tenet of our legal system. However, in practice many individuals face barriers to achieving justice through the courts. This symposium considered legal, ethical and professional issues relating to civil rights and access to justice.

See CLE materials here.

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March 28, 2016, 6pm – 8pm, NYLS Auditorium

Life After Life In Prison: A Conversation on Women’s Incarceration 

Please join the New York Women’s Foundation and New York Law School’s Impact Center for Public Interest for a discussion on women’s incarceration. Panelists include Sarah Bennett, former Criminal Defense Attorney and Photographer; Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director of Correctional Association of New York; Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship; and Keila P., featured in Life After Life in Prison, A Photo Essay by Sara Bennett. Moderated by Adele Bernhard, Adjunct Professor and Director of New York Law School Post Conviction-Innocence Clinic.

March 3, 2016, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, NYLS Events Center

Impact Thursdays: Tackling Economic Inequality, Revisited

A panel discussion on the de Blasio administration’s efforts to address economic inequality, two years in. Speakers include: Eric Alterman, Author, Inequality and One City; Commissioner Steven Banks, NYC Human Resources Administration; Commissioner Gladys Carrion, NYC Administration for Children’s Services; Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor.

Moderated by Andrew Scherer, New York Law School

There is a modest registration fee for each Impact Thursday to cover costs: $15 for general admission, $10 for NYLS alumni, and free for current NYLS students, staff and faculty.

CLE materials can be found HERE.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 1pm to 2pm, Boardroom

The Continuing Fight for Voting Rights and Genuine Equality

Voting rights are under attack nationwide as states pass voter suppression laws, including cuts to early voting, voter ID laws, and purges of voter rolls. These laws lead to significant burdens for eligible voters trying to exercise their most fundamental constitutional right. Dale Ho, the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project, will discuss the dramatic rise in voter suppression initiatives since the US Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, efforts to restore Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and what is in store for the 2016 election. He will also discuss the ACLU’s pending voting rights litigation in Ferguson, Missouri.

February 4, 2016, 6 – 7:40p.m., NYLS Auditorium

Police Use of Force: A Discussion of NYPD’s New Policy

In October 2015, the NYC Police Department adopted a new policy and rules addressing the use of police force.  Please join us for a panel discussion with representatives from the CCRB, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and the NYPD, as well as a prosecutor and a criminal defense practitioner.  The panelists will discuss the scope of the problem, the wisdom and the efficacy of the new policy, and whether this new step will suffice to address the use of excessive force in policing.

Attorneys will be provided 2.0 hours of Professional Practice CLE credit. These CLE credits are transitional and non transitional.

For the CLE materials, please click here.

For video of this event, please click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 12:50 – 2pm, WA10

Hot Coffee

The Impact Center and the Center for Justice and Democracy hosted for the first of a 3-part screening of the award-winning HBO documentary film, Hot Coffee.

Hot Coffee tells the shocking truth behind the famous “McDonald’s Coffee Case” and discusses the movement behind tort reform.

Screening was followed by a discussion with NYLS Adjunct Professor Joanne Doroshow, who is featured in Hot Coffee, and special guest Blair Horner, Executive Director of NYPIRG, the state’s largest consumer rights group and an expert on Albany politics.

Thursday, January 14, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., NYLS Events Center

Impact Thursday: Social Justice and the Power and Limitations of the Bench

Speakers for the third Impact Thursday include: Honorable Shira Scheindlin, United States District Court Judge; Honorable Fern Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the NYC Courts and Director of the NYS Courts Access to Justice Program; and Ron Kuby, criminal defense and civil rights attorney.

Moderated by Hon. Emily Jane Goodman, Justice, NYS Supreme Court (ret.), now in private practice.

CLE materials can be found here.

Monday, January 18, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
NYLS’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law and Center for Real Estate Studies organized a group volunteer project with New York Cares for students, faculty and staff as part of MLK Day of Service.

Projects will include painting, revitalizing, crafts, and educational activities at P373/Brooklyn Transition Center, a public school for students with special needs.