The Forum 2019-2020

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 2019


Reining in Big Tech

Wednesday, September 11, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

GAFA—Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon— have annual revenues greater than the GDP of many nations. They collect and monetize our data. They manipulate our minds. They seem to acquire all budding competitors. On their own platforms, they are both players and gatekeepers, and are accused of demoting and even destroying rivals. While deference to market forces and concerns about chilling innovation have led US regulators to take a light touch, there are increasing calls to rein these tech giants in. But how? Through data-protection regulations? Consumer-protection enforcement? Antitrust lawsuits? (Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes—who will be a panelist at this Forum—has called for the breakup of Facebook.) Do we need a new, 21st-century regulatory authority to address these 21st-century concerns? Join us to hear a discussion of these questions—and bring questions of your own.


  • Eleanor Fox ’61, Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Chris Hughes, Co-founder of Facebook; Co-Chair, Economic Security Project; Senior Adviser, Roosevelt Institute
  • Abbott (Tad) Lipsky Jr., Professor, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
  • Florencia Marotta-Wurgler ’01, Professor, NYU School of Law

To watch the full video, click here.


Supreme Court (P)review

Wednesday, September 25, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

At this Forum, our expert panel—offering the perspectives of a journalist, a practitioner, and constitutional scholars—will discuss the current makeup of the Supreme Court (it’s more complicated than liberal versus conservative), look back at a few major rulings from the just-concluded term (the census and partisan gerrymandering cases), and look ahead to the term about to begin. Major issues already on the docket include anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination, immigration (DACA), state funding and religion, gun control, and criminal law and procedure (the insanity defense, jury unanimity, and fraud charges in Bridgegate, for example). One or more cases involving abortion rights may also face review by the justices in the near future.


  • Amy Howe – Co-founder, SCOTUSblog; Reporter for Howe on the Court
  • Deborah Malamud - AnBryce Professor of Law, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Roman Martinez – Partner and member of Supreme Court and Appellate Practice, Latham & Watkins
  • Richard Pildes - Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law

To watch the full video, click here.


Do Human Rights Investigations Matter? The Case of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty

Wednesday, October 16, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

For those suffering the multiple deprivations of extreme poverty, many human rights—from basic sanitation to safe working conditions to opportunities for political participation—are out of reach. As United Nations special rapporteur for extreme poverty, Philip Alston’s mandate is to visit countries around the globe and prepare reports on “the progress and obstacles to the enjoyment of human rights by those living in extreme poverty.” Following his official visit to the US, Alston declared, “The American Dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion.” About China, he wrote that “a carefully designed law and order pincer movement” has cut off avenues for individuals to seek redress for alleged rights violations and “will generate increasing pressure for mass protests, which are generally met with repressive measures.” Alston’s mandate also calls on him to develop “constructive dialogue” with the governments of countries he reports on. How does one go about delivering hard-hitting reports and maintaining constructive dialogue? Do these investigations and reports matter? Are there strategies that can make them more or less effective? At this Forum, two leading human rights lawyers will talk to Alston about how he has approached his rapporteur role in visits that have taken him to countries including Chile, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, and Ghana.


  • Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, NYU School of Law; UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (2014–present)
  • César Rodríguez-Garavito, Founding Director, Program on Global Justice and Human Rights, University of the Andes (Bogotá, Colombia); Visiting Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law
  • Margaret Satterthwaite ’99, Professor of Clinical Law; Faculty Director and Co-Chair, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice; Faculty Director, Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights, NYU School of Law


For Whom is the Corporation Managed?

Wednesday, November 6, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

Does the law require that the corporation be managed for the benefit of the shareholders? Should it? And if so, what does that even mean, when building a successful corporation requires the joint efforts of employees, investors, customers, suppliers, and communities? In 1997, the Business Roundtable stated that “The paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders.” This past August, it released a new “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” in which it seems to have expanded its view of relevant “stakeholders” to include customers, employees, suppliers, and communities, including a commitment to a healthy environment. What is going on? Is the Business Roundtable’s statement a statement about the law? About good corporate practice? A political intervention? Or all of the above? At this Forum, a panel of leading experts on corporate law will discuss these issues—and answer audience questions.


  • Martin Lipton ’55, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Trustee and Adjunct Professor, NYU School of Law
  • Edward Rock, Martin Lipton Professor of Law; Director, Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Kathryn King Sudol ’98, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Trustee, NYU School of Law
  • Anthony Welters ’77, Executive Chairman, BlackIvy Group; Chairman Emeritus, NYU Law Board of Trustees


Law and National Security at the DOJ: A Conversation with John Demers and Lisa Monaco

Wednesday, November 13, 12:45–2:00 p.m.

When the National Security Division (NSD) at the US Department of Justice was established in 2006, its primary mission was combatting terrorism. Today, the division’s work is varied, with a significant focus on combatting national security-related economic espionage and cybercrime. At this Forum, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers will join Reiss Center Distinguished Senior Fellow Lisa Monaco in a wide-ranging conversation on the practice of national security law at the Department of Justice today. They’ll discuss a range of key issues and challenges, from Chinese economic and political espionage to Russian influence campaigns to the current state of international and domestic terrorism. This event is co-hosted by the Reiss Center on Law and Security.


  • John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, US Department of Justice
  • Lisa Monaco, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Reiss Center on Law and Security, NYU School of Law; Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (2013-2017); Assistant Attorney General for National Security, US Department of Justice (2011-2013)