The Spring Dinner

The Annual Spring Dinner is LACA’s flagship event. It occurs in March or April of each year and is attended by the board, alumni, faculty, administrators, and current and prospective students. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of outstanding LACA alumni by presenting them with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, to hear from a prominent keynote speaker, and to honor the student recipients of the Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service and the Rasheed McWilliams '03 Scholarship. Additionally, LACA acknowledges its Rising Stars, alumni who are already making an impact in their respective fields and whose work LACA is excited to follow as they grow their careers. Recent keynote speakers have included The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the Supreme Court; Adrien Fenty, former mayor of Washington, DC; and then US attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, who now holds the position of US attorney general.
The Spring Dinner is an excellent way to connect with other alumni and students, re-connect with faculty and administration, and introduce prospective students of color to NYU School of Law.


Throughout the year, LACA hosts panels at the Law School for alumni and law students on a number of academic and professional topics. Past panels have focused on themes such as how to thrive in law school, private practice and public interest careers, entrepreneurship and non-traditional legal careers, and the road to politics.


LACA hosts receptions throughout the year in order to increase and strengthen connections among LACA members, students, and other professionals. LACA generally organizes a kick-off Orientation Reception at the end of August of each year to welcome new students and allow them to meet LACA members. Throughout the year, we also host a number of other meet-and-greets and cocktail hours for students, alumni, and related professionals.

The Derrick Bell Lecture

LACA co-sponsors and supports the annual Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society.

Established in 1995 to celebrate Professor Derrick Bell’s sixty-fifth birthday, this annual fall lecture has the distinction of being one of the leading forums on race in the country and presents the top legal thinkers and writers in the field.

Past speakers include:

  • Paul Butler, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Carville Dickinson Benson Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law
  • Lani Guinier, Professor, Harvard University Law School
  • Mari Matsuda, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard University Law School, Director, The Criminal Justice Institute
  • Kendall Thomas, Professor, Columbia University School of Law
  • William Carter Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburg School of Law, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Stephen Bright, President and Senior Counsel, Southern Center for Human Rights and Harvey Karp Visiting Lecturer in Law and Supervising Attorney, Yale Law School
  • Sherrilyn Ifill ’87, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Theordore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights, University of North Carolina, School of Law at Chapel Hill