A new endowed symposium celebrates Judge Robert Katzmann’s legacy and commitment to protecting democracy

On February 1, NYU Law announced the establishment of the Robert A. Katzmann Annual Symposium Series, an endowed program, to honor the legacy of Judge Robert Katzmann’s distinguished judicial career and scholarship. In January, Katzmann joined the Law School faculty as a professor of practice.

Robert Katzmann
Robert Katzmann

The symposium series’ three components will be an annual lecture, workshops, and a Student Fellows Program. Each lecture, offered by a notable expert in the field, will address ideas relevant to Katzmann’s time on the bench and his scholarship, including constitutional democracy and the rule of law, democratic values, strengthening governmental institutions, addressing challenges associated with the separation and division of powers in our governmental system, civic education, and access to justice for immigrants.

The lecture will stimulate ideas for the workshops, in which scholars, practitioners, and the student scholars will collaborate in working groups tasked with tackling present-day challenges to our democracy and to the functioning of our institutions. The products of the workshops will include scholarship, reports, and recommendations addressing the problems identified.

Under the Student Fellows program, three to four students will each receive a stipend to pursue research related to the topic of the lecture and the workshops.

“Judge Katzmann has been a consensus leader and institution builder on and off the bench,” said Dean Trevor Morrison. “With the establishment of the Robert A. Katzmann Annual Symposium, we are honored to create at NYU Law a multi-faceted program that, under his leadership, will engage with fundamental issues of democratic governance and the rule of law in an effort to address, ameliorate, and solve problems.”

“I am honored and humbled,” Katzmann commented, “that such a great institution, NYU School of Law, has established this endowed Symposium series in my name. I thank Dean Morrison, his team, and friends of this project, for all of their efforts.

“In the course of my career, I have endeavored to bring together the best minds to address knotty problems in the search for practical solutions to ensure the continuing vitality of our institutions and our democracy. I will do my best,” Katzmann continued, “to do my part to ensure that the aspirations of this symposium—with its lecture, workshops, and Student Fellows Program—are realized.”      

The symposium will begin this spring with workshops, to be held virtually, that will address challenges to the independence and integrity of the judiciary. An inaugural class of student fellows is also planned for Spring 2021.

Posted February 1, 2021