Lecture honors Thurgood Marshall's legacy

Feb. 9, 2008 12:06 a.m.

Harvard Law School professor Ronald Sullivan will deliver the inaugural Thurgood Marshall Lecture, sponsored by the National Black Law Students Association at Princeton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

The student association, which provides information and resources about careers in law, designed the event to honor the legacy of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice. Intended to become an annual event, the Marshall Lectures will highlight people who have used their legal education to generate positive social change and bring about justice through public-interest advocacy.

Sullivan, a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute, will discuss issues related to racial bias and criminal prosecution.

As a visiting attorney for the Law Society of Kenya in Nairobi in 1994-95, Sullivan sat on a committee charged with drafting a new Kenyan constitution. He is a former staff attorney, general counsel and director of the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and has testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Council of the District of Columbia on a range of criminal law issues.

Sullivan's teaching focuses on areas such as criminal law, criminal procedure, legal ethics and race theory. He joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 2007 after three years at Yale Law School, where he founded the Samuel and Anna Jacobs Criminal Justice Clinic, helped found the Jamestown Project -- a think tank devoted to diverse ideas for enriching American democracy -- and won the law school's award for outstanding teaching in 2005.

The lecture is co-sponsored by Rockefeller College, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the Center for African American Studies, the Undergraduate Student Government Projects Board, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Fields Center.