The Nineteenth Annual Justice William J. Brennan Lecture on State Courts and Social Justice

"Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Legal System Falls Short in Protecting Basic Rights"

The Honorable Wallace B. Jefferson, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, will deliver the lecture.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge, 40 Washington Square South, New York, NY

The legal community has long recognized that indigent citizens lack access to the judicial system. Pro bono programs and legal aid organizations have attempted to address this issue. Chief Justice Jefferson argues that barriers to justice impact not only the indigent, but also middle-class Americans. He explores how our most valuable rights are often the least protected: tenants subject to eviction rarely have counsel; veterans wait years to receive earned benefits; juveniles cannot invoke the 6th Amendment to challenge civil fines.

Chief Justice Jefferson will explore reforms and alternatives when traditional paths to justice are unavailable, and he will highlight some of the obstacles faced in creating those alternatives. A question and answer session and a reception will follow Chief Justice Jefferson's lecture.

One hour of New York CLE credit (Ethics and Professionalism) is available for attendance at this event.

Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson

The Honorable Wallace B. Jefferson has served on the Supreme Court of Texas for over a decade and has been its chief justice since 2004. From 2010-11, he was president of the Conference of Chief Justices, an association of chief justices from the fifty states and U.S. territories. As president, Chief Justice Jefferson chaired the National Center for State Courts board of directors, a policy and resource organization in Williamsburg, Virginia. Jefferson serves on the Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Council of the American Law Institute, the Board of the American Bar Foundation, and the Board of Advisors of the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative. He is also an adviser on the Restatement Third, The Law of Consumer Contracts.

Jefferson joined the Court from private practice in San Antonio. As a partner in the appellate-specialty firm Crofts, Callaway & Jefferson, he successfully argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court. He is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University and the University of Texas School of Law. He is the namesake for the Wallace B. Jefferson Middle School in San Antonio. He and his wife, Rhonda, have three sons, William Douglas, Samuel Lewis, and Michael Andrew.