Virginia State Bar

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Diversity Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

Conference News and Information

May 3, 2013

Diversity and the Rule of Law: Complementary or Contradictory?

Program Description

Join the VWAA and Diversity Conference at the VSB Annual Meeting, on Friday, June 14 at 2:30 p.m. for what promises to be a spirited and informative discussion: Diversity and the Rule of Law: Complementary or Contradictory? With two cases, Fisher v. University of Texas and Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, in the Supreme Court this session on race-conscious admissions, this session will feature some of the nation’s leading authorities and participants in the ongoing debate. Judge Barbara Keenan will moderate the panel, comprised of Jonathan Alger, President of James Madison University, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Panelists will offer valuable insights into current practices and potential ramifications of the court’s decisions. Attendees will be encouraged to join in the debate, and a reception will follow at 4:15 p.m. 1.5 MCLE Credits Pending. Current Sponsors: VSB Diversity Conference, VWAA, Burnett & Williams, Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC, Virginia Diversity Foundation, Michael HuYoung, Peter C. Burnett.

Panelist Biographies

Jonathan Alger, an attorney and the new President of James Madison University, played a significant leadership role in two landmark Supreme Court cases on diversity and admissions. As Assistant General Counsel at the University of Michigan, he coordinated one of the largest amicus brief coalitions in Supreme Court history in both Grutter v. Bollinger, 529 U.S. 306 (2003) and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003). Prior to his presidency at JMU, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys as well as the advisory board for the Association of American Universities. He is undoubtedly one of the country’s leading authorities on the interplay between the rule of law and programs intended to promote diversity. Mr. Alger graduated from Swarthmore College, and obtained his J.D. at Harvard Law School. Before his time at Rutgers, Mr. Alger worked for the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski, III was named one of the top 10 college presidents in the country by Time Magazine in 2009 and one of the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine in 2102. Dr. Hrabowski brings a 20 year history of attracting a diverse student body to UMBC. With one of the country’s highest rates of minority students going into STEM PhD programs and students from more than 145 countries, he brings an extraordinary wealth of experience to diversity issues. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Hrabowski was arrested at the age of 12 for his participation in a civil rights protest. He graduated from Hampton Institute with high honors in mathematics. He then received his M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Hrabowski has co-authored two books Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males and Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philisophical Society. He holds honorary degrees from Harvard University, Duke University, the University of Illinois, Galladuet University, the Medical University of South Carolina, Binghamton University, and Goucher College. In 2008, Dr. Hrabowski was named as one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report. He and UMBC were recently featured on CBS’s 60 minutes, attracting national attention to his many achievements.

Roger Clegg is the President and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity. The Center for Equal Opportunity is a conservative research and educational organization based in Falls Church, Virginia, that specializes in civil rights, immigration, and bilingual education issues. Mr. Clegg also is a contributing editor at National Review Online, and writes frequently for USA Today, The Weekly Standard, The Legal Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other popular periodicals and law journals. A former Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Mr. Clegg held the second highest positions in both the Civil Rights Division and in the Environment and Natural Resources Division. He has held several other positions at the U.S. Justice Department, including Assistant to the Solicitor General, Associate Deputy Attorney General, and Acting Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy. Mr. Clegg graduated from Rice University and Yale University Law School. He writes, speaks, and conducts research on legal issues raised by the civil rights laws.

Judge Barbara Milano Keenan currently serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She was the first woman to sit on the Fourth Circuit Court, the first woman to serve on the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and the first woman elected to serve on the Circuit Court by the Virginia General Assembly. She remains the only woman to have served on every level of the Virginia Court System (General District, Circuit Court, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court of Virginia). Prior to her time on the bench, Judge Keenan practiced as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney, a solo practitioner, and as a partner with Keenan, Ardis and Roehrenbeck. She graduated from Cornell University and earned her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. She also earned a master of laws degree from University.