The Forum 2018-2019

The Forum, sponsored by Latham & Watkins, presents discussions on current events, legal and public policy issues, and intellectual ideas. The programs feature experts from within and outside the Law School, and time is generally allowed for questions from the audience.

Fall 2018 Schedule


Criminal Injustice: Junk Science, Wrongful Convictions, and Race

Wednesday, September 12, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

It’s all too common in criminal cases to encounter junk science masquerading as forensics. The consequences can be egregious: innocent people sent to prison while perpetrators remain free. Washington Post writer Radley Balko and Mississippi law professor Tucker Carrington chronicle one such case in their recently published book, The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South. In doing so, they expose structural failures and institutional racism that have insulated sham science from challenge and led it to disproportionately impact the African American community. At this Forum, the authors will discuss their book and, with other experts, address concerns about junk science in the criminal justice system around the country.


  • Radley Balko, Opinion Writer, Washington Post
  • Bennett Capers, Professor, Brooklyn Law School
  • Tucker Carrington, Professor and Founding Director of the George C. Cochran Innocence Project, University of Mississippi School of Law
  • Erin Murphy, Professor, NYU School of Law (moderator)

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Supreme Court (P)review

Wednesday, September 26, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

The new Supreme Court term already includes important cases on the death penalty, immigration, police conduct, administrative law, and class actions. And when the Court convenes on October 1, it is likely that a new justice will be on the bench. At this Forum, four experts on the Court—from academia, journalism, and law practice—will look back at key rulings from last term and assess what lies ahead for a changing Court. Among the questions they’ll discuss: How will the Court view hot-button issues, such as affirmative action, abortion rights, and presidential power, when it confronts them in the future? And we’ll leave time for audience members to ask questions of their own.


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Legalized Sports Gambling: Leagues and States Roll the Dice

Wednesday, October 17, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

In May, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a federal statute that had barred sports gambling in most of the country. The law was enacted in 1992 out of concerns that sports betting was particularly addictive and could corrupt and seriously damage the reputation of professional and amateur sports. With the law overturned, states and businesses are racing to attract billions in wagers, and a new era has begun for sports leagues. Will this be good or bad for teams and leagues? What about for the community? And who will profit—professional leagues, amateur sports, states? Will regulation be necessary, and by whom? At this Forum, a panel that includes the various stakeholders in the debate will discuss these issues and more.


  • Jodi Balsam ’86, Professor, Brooklyn Law School; Adjunct Professor, NYU Law
  • Ari Borod, Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, FanDuel
  • Rick Buchanan, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, NBA
  • Derrick Crawford, Managing Director, Enforcement, NCAA
  • Arthur R. Miller, University Professor and Chairman, Sports and Society, NYU (moderator)
  • David Rebuck, Director, Division of Gaming Enforcement, State of New Jersey

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Dangerous Leaders: How and Why Lawyers Must Be Taught to Lead

Wednesday, October 31, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

Flint, Michigan's water crisis, the New Jersey "Bridgegate" scandal, Enron: all these incidents are examples of various forms of leadership failure. More specifically, each represents marked failures among leaders with legal training. A new book by Professor of Clinical Law Anthony Thompson examines these incidents—and provides the title for this Forum. In Dangerous Leaders, Thompson exposes the risks and results of leaving lawyers unprepared to lead and provides law schools, law students, and the legal profession with the tools and models to build a better foundation of leadership acumen. Join Thompson for a discussion about the need for leadership education in law school and ways to bring it about.


  • Kim Taylor-Thompson, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law; Former Global CEO, Duke Corporate Education
  • Anthony Thompson, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Nicholas Turner, President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice; Former Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation

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Fostering Inclusion in the Classroom

Wednesday, November 7, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

Why do faculty choose to structure their classes in certain ways? How do pedagogical goals intersect with the importance of ensuring an inclusive classroom? What role do factors such as teaching style (lectures, cold calling, etc.) and course format (e.g. a 1L class vs. an upper-class seminar) play in answering these questions, and which approaches work best in dealing with sensitive topics or in managing ideological or viewpoint diversity? At this Forum, Professor Kenji Yoshino, who serves as the director of the Law School’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, will lead a discussion on these issues with other members of the NYU Law faculty. Questions and observations from the audience will also be welcome.


  • Clayton Gillette, Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law
  • Erin Murphy, Professor of Law; Chair, Inclusion and Diversity Committee
  • Kim Taylor-Thompson, Professor of Clinical Law
  • Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law; Director, Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (moderator)

No video available.


Post-election reflection: Why a large, diverse, secular democracy is challenging for Homo sapiens

Wednesday, November 14, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

The founding fathers had a good grasp on the human psyche. They knew they didn’t have a large margin for error in creating a somewhat democratic system to be run by real human beings prone to faction. At this Forum, NYU Stern professor and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will describe some of the psychological systems and tendencies that constitutional designers and reformers must consider. He’ll explain innate tendencies toward tribalism and will identify ten causes of America’s rising political polarization. Professor Haidt’s remarks will also serve as the lunchtime keynote address for the NYU Law Alumni Association Fall Conference, “Democratic Distortions: A Postmortem on the Midterm Elections.”


  • Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, NYU

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Spring 2019 Schedule


Immigration Law and Policy: The Landscape After the 2018 Election

Wednesday, January 30, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

The record-long--and so far unresolved--government shutdown reflects the centrality and intractability of immigration policy in American politics. As House Democrats use their new majority to face off against President Trump on issues ranging from a border wall to protections for Dreamers, other challenges to administration actions are proceeding in the courts. At this Forum, leading experts will discuss how critical immigration issues will play out in and among the three branches of government. What are the implications of Democratic control of the House? What can realistically be achieved, and what might be the price of legislative compromise? What can we expect as the Executive Branch implements its new—and unprecedented--policies at the border and in the interior of the country? How might these issues play out over the course of the year as more issues reach the Supreme Court? What might new power arrangements mean for the growing assertiveness of states over the rights of their non-US citizen residents?


  • Muzaffar Chishti, Director, Migration Policy Institute (moderator)
  • Ur Jaddou, Director, DHS Watch, America’s Voice; former Chief Counsel, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security; former Chief Counsel, House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
  • Nancy Morawetz ’81, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law; Co-Director, Immigrant Rights Clinic
  • Cecillia Wang, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union

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The Role of Lawyers in Disaster Recovery

Wednesday, February 20, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

For hurricanes and wildfires, it is police officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel who provide the frontline response. But there is also a critical—and often overlooked—role for lawyers. Most disaster-response organizations are unaware of the legal rights and challenges faced by survivors, particularly of those in economically disadvantaged communities. Their needs can include such things as obtaining copies of critical documents, applying for or restoring benefits, protection from scams and price gouging, and domestic violence prevention. In 2018, the Legal Services Corporation—the nation’s largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income individuals—formed a Disaster Task Force to promote awareness of this issue and recommend best practices for addressing legal needs in disaster preparedness and response. At this Forum, task force co-chair Judge Jonathan Lippman ’68 will moderate a discussion with three other task force members on what lawyers do when disaster strikes—and how they can do more.


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Thinking About Impeachment: ‘Indispensable’ Inquiry, National Nightmare, or Partisan Power Play?

Wednesday, February 27, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

Princeton Professor of Politics Keith Whittington has noted that, from virtually the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, the ranks of his critics have included those arguing that he should be removed from office. The most persistent calls have been for the president’s impeachment and have led to a robust debate over how to think about the impeachment process. Is it an inevitable national nightmare and certain signifier of a constitutional crisis? Or is it a critical component of our system of checks and balances, “indispensable,” as James Madison wrote, to defend against “the incapacity, negligence or perfidy” of the president? At the center of the discussion is what the Framers meant by “high crimes and misdemeanors” as a basis for removal, and how Congress, in polarized political times, can credibly define and apply this standard without provoking the objection that it is engaged in a partisan power play to reverse the results of the 2016 election. NYU Law Professor of Practice Bob Bauer has suggested that the House of Representatives can manage this task by initiating an impeachment inquiry characterized by transparency, procedural fairness, and due deliberation. At this Forum, in a discussion moderated by NYU Law Professor Deborah Malamud, Whittington and Bauer will address these questions and more.


  • Bob Bauer, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU School of Law; former White House Counsel to President Barack Obama
  • Keith E. Whittington, Professor of Politics, Princeton University
  • Deborah Malamud, AnBryce Professor of Law, NYU School of Law (moderator)

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Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration

Wednesday, March 6, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

America’s criminal justice policy reflects irrational fears stoked by politicians seeking to win election, says NYU Law Professor Rachel Barkow in her just published book, Prisoners of Politics: Breaking the Cycle of Mass Incarceration. And she documents how damaging it is to base criminal justice policy on the whims of the electorate, which puts tough-on-crime judges, prosecutors, and legislators in office. If instead that policy were based on data and expertise, she argues, we could reduce mass incarceration while maintaining public safety. At this Forum, writer and activist Shaun King and NYU Law Professor of Practice Anne Milgram will join Barkow to talk about ways to address the pathologies in the politics around crime. King is one of the leaders in getting progressive prosecutors elected and in calling for greater accountability by highlighting civil rights abuses by police and prosecutors.  Milgram has been on the front lines of reforming bail, treatment of those with mental illnesses, and adoption of better reentry policies, as well as other issues.  Among the topics they will discuss are how populist politics have produced draconian laws and practices and ways in which politics can now be used to bring about reform, including in courts and prosecutors’ offices. As always at Forums, we will allow time for audience questions.


  • Rachel Barkow, Vice Dean and Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy; Faculty Director, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, NYU School of Law
  • Shaun King, Columnist for The Intercept and The Appeal; Co-Founder, The North Star and Real Justice Political Action Committee
  • Anne Milgram ’96, Professor of Practice and Executive Director, Criminal Justice Lab, NYU School of Law; New Jersey Attorney General, 2007-2010 (moderator)

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Brexit: Where Are We Now?

Wednesday, March 27, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

The gyrations are daily and dizzying. The deadline is imminent-or perhaps will be delayed. The fate of a deal is in the hands of the UK Parliament-or perhaps the EU's European Council. A second referendum is possible-or completely off the table. The only certainty, it seems, since the British voted to leave the EU nearly three years ago, has been uncertainty. That itself has produced fallout. Major multinationals, for example, are shifting operations to Amsterdam, Paris, and Frankfurt, and the port of Dublin has built new customs booths. Scotland recently put hundreds of police officers on standby in the event of civil unrest. In other European countries, too, anxiety is growing and preparations for a range of outcomes are underway. What to make of it all? We've assembled a panel of experts to offer observations, explanations, and perhaps even some predictions.


  • Gráinne de Búrca, Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, NYU School of Law
  • Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford
  • Rob Moulton, Partner, Latham & Watkins, London; member of Latham's Brexit Task Force

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Beware the Orwellian State: Sound Regulation of Police Surveillance Technology

Wednesday, April 3, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

Police around the world are rapidly deploying increasingly advanced technologies, many of them driven by artificial intelligence, such as drones, facial recognition, and predictive analytics. These technologies are a two-edged sword. They may save lives, keep communities safer, and even make the criminal justice system less discriminatory. Yet, each also has the potential to exacerbate racial disparities, violate privacy and other civil rights, and be abused. How can we ensure that we obtain benefits from the technologies, while not bringing about the surveillance state George Orwell predicted in his famous work, 1984? To discuss these issues we have a remarkable panel of experts. Join us to learn about—and ask hard questions about—the future of government surveillance.


  • Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law and Director of the Policing Project, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Rashida Richardson, Director of Policy Research, AI Now Institute, NYU
  • Rick Smith, CEO and Founder, Axon Enterprise: manufacturer of TASERs, body cameras, and new policing technologies
  • Thomas J Taffe, Deputy Chief, Policy and Programs, New York Police Department

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Probing Mueller: The Russia Investigations and the Road Ahead

Wednesday, April 17, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report, concluding an historic 22-month investigation. Where does that leave the country and what should we expect next? A group of leading experts will discuss lessons learned in covering both the criminal and counterintelligence investigations, the role of senior Justice Department officials, and the role Congress will now play. They will help distill the facts (the remaining knowns and unknowns), the most significant legal issues of the day, and some of the separate investigations the Mueller probe has generated. The discussion will be tailored to address breaking news as well as the legal and political context behind the headlines. This event is cohosted by NYU Law’s Reiss Center on Law and Security.


  • Preet Bharara, Distinguished Scholar in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU School of Law; US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 2009-2017; Author of Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law (2019)
  • Natasha Bertrand, National Security Correspondent, Politico; Contributor, MSNBC
  • Ryan Goodman, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law, NYU School of Law; Founding Co-Editor-in-Chief, Just Security

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