The Forum 2022-23

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 2022 Schedule


Supreme Court (P)review

Wednesday, September 14, 1:10–2:25 p.m.

Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

The US Supreme Court handed down a series of highly consequential rulings in its recently concluded term. In addition to eliminating federal constitutional protections for abortion, the Court sharply curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to fight climate change, expanded Second Amendment protection for gun owners, and broadened religious rights under the First Amendment. The six conservative justices repeatedly banded together to outvote their liberal colleagues. What does this presage for the upcoming term? What major cases are already on the docket? And has the Court become politicized in a way that threatens its legitimacy—or is that question itself a product of today’s highly polarized political environment? At this Forum, a panel of experts will examine these and other questions.


  • Jess Bravin, Supreme Court Correspondent, the Wall Street Journal
  • Marin Levy, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
  • Melissa Murray, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, NYU Law; Co-host, Strict Scrutiny podcast (moderator)
  • Kannon Shanmugam, Partner and Chair of the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Watch the full video


Investigating Mar-a-Lago

Wednesday, October 12, 1:10–2:25 p.m.

Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

The US Department of Justice’s unprecedented investigation continues into the documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, raising many intertwined domestic law and national security concerns. What’s the likely trajectory of the criminal investigation? How might the Mar-a-Lago proceedings be sequenced with the separate and ongoing investigations and prosecutions around the events of January 6? How do the interests of the intelligence community figure into whether and how to bring criminal charges in such cases? How should we assess the performance of the Justice Department and intelligence community to date? What is essential to understand—and what are common misconceptions about—the Espionage Act, the rules governing (de)classification, executive privilege, and the Presidential Records Act? At this Forum, experts with backgrounds in law, journalism, intelligence, and senior government service will explore the state of play in the case and analyze the bigger picture.

This event is co-hosted by the Reiss Center on Law and Security.


  • Bob Bauer, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU School of Law; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Reiss Center on Law and Security
  • Ryan Goodman, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law, NYU School of Law; Faculty Co-Director, Reiss Center on Law and Security (moderator)
  • Carol Leonnig, National Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post
  • Mary McCord, Executive Director, Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Andrew Weissmann, Professor of Practice, NYU School of Law; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Reiss Center on Law and Security

Watch the full video


After Dobbs: The Future of Abortion, Privacy Rights, and Equality in the US

Wednesday, November 2, 1:10–2:25 p.m.

Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

A Conversation Between

  • Chris Hayes, Host, All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC
  • Melissa Murray, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

This event is co-hosted by the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network.

Watch the full video


Spring 2023 Schedule


The State of the Death Penalty: Fifty Years After Furman

Wednesday, February 1, 1:10–2:25 p.m.

Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

In 1972, the US Supreme Court held in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty, if applied arbitrarily or discriminatorily, violates the Eighth Amendment. However, the Furman court stopped short of finding the death penalty inherently unconstitutional. Instead, it gave states the opportunity to modify their capital schemes to comport with the constitution, and four years later, in Gregg v. Georgia, it upheld most of these laws and reinstated the death penalty. Since peaking in 1999, executions have fallen precipitously, as has public support for the death penalty. Today, fifty years after Furman, more than half of US states have either abolished the death penalty or have governor-imposed moratoria. This raises the question: Is the death penalty, as administered today, any less arbitrary and discriminatory than it was when Furman was decided? At this Forum, experts with backgrounds in capital defense will unpack this question, analyzing the US Department of Justice’s shifting position on capital punishment over the last four years, the challenging landscape created by recent Supreme Court death penalty and habeas corpus jurisprudence, and other contemporary issues in death penalty litigation and policy.

This event is co-hosted by the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law.


  • Vincent Southerland, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Faculty Director, Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, NYU School of Law (moderator)
  • Alexis Hoag-Fordjour ’08, Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Criminal Justice, Brooklyn Law School
  • Aren Adjoian, Supervisory Assistant Federal Defender in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Adjunct Professor of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Watch the full video


ESG: The Backlash

Wednesday, February 22, 1:10–2:25 p.m.

Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

Socially responsible investing—widely known as ESG, for the environmental, social, and governance factors used as investment criteria—is facing a backlash. Even as the level of money flowing into ESG funds remains robust, critics have emerged from the ranks of Wall Street Journal opinion writers, asset managers, and conservative politicians. They say the approach departs from the duty to maximize financial returns, amounts to “woke capitalism,” and blame it for driving up energy prices through disinvestment in fossil fuels. Republican state treasurers and comptrollers are pulling money from BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, whose CEO, Laurence Fink, is a prominent ESG proponent. What should we make of the criticisms leveled against ESG? How should investment firms and regulators respond? What does the law have to say about it? At this Forum, panelists—including a representative from BlackRock—will discuss these issues and more.

This event is co-hosted by Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance.


  • Dalia Blass, Senior Managing Director and Head of External Affairs, BlackRock; Director, Division of Investment Management, US Securities and Exchange Commission (2017-2021)
  • Betty M. Huber ’96, Partner and Global Co-Chair, ESG Practice, Latham & Watkins
  • Allison Herren Lee, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Corporate Governance & Finance, NYU School of Law; Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission (2019-2022)
  • Shivaram Rajgopal, Professor of Accounting and Auditing, Columbia Business School
  • Robert J. Jackson Jr., Pierrepont Family Professor of Law and Co-Director, Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance, NYU School of Law; Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission (2017-2020) (moderator)


Asylum, Border Politics, and NYC

Wednesday, March 1, 1:10–2:25 p.m.

Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall

The United States has a duty to welcome asylum seekers under federal and international law. Over the course of the last six years, however, a combination of controversial federal policies and border-state politics has obstructed many asylum seekers from pursuing their claims. Those who have been permitted to apply for asylum have found themselves in a highly politicized environment, bussed en masse by states like Texas and Florida to northern cities without notice or coordination. The arrival of tens of thousands of asylum seekers in New York City in recent months has posed a series of challenges and opportunities for the city. In this Forum, our panelists will explore how the city and its residents have responded to the arrival of asylum seekers and reimagine what it might take to welcome and support city residents—both newly-arrived and long-term—with dignity and respect.


  • Shahana Hanif, Member, New York City Council (District 39); Chair, Committee on Immigration
  • Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Immigration Enforcement Reporter, Documented
  • Edafe Okporo, Founder, Refuge America; Author, Asylum: A Memoir and Manifesto
  • Alina Das ’05, Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Director, Immigrant Rights Clinic, NYU School of Law

Co-hosted by the Immigrant Rights Clinic.