Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 10, 2023

Hofstra Hosts Symposium Today On Freedom Of Expression At American Law Schools


Hofstra hosts a symposium today on Freedom of Expression at American Law Schools (registration): 

Commitments to principles supporting the freedom of expression are found in statements of policy at public and private institutions of higher education throughout the United States. American law schools, either as parts of larger universities or standing alone, have embraced similar policies adhering to the principle that free intellectual inquiry is at the core of a law school’s educational and research mission.

General statements about free expression, however, do not always resolve actual controversies. When does expression "go too far?" Are controversies over free expression at law schools different from those elsewhere on campuses? There have been powerful reminders, in recent years, that law school free expression has limits — that at some point it can collide with other values and interests of concern to deans, faculty, and students.


9:30 am | Welcome

  • Norman Silber (Hofstra)
  • Gail Prudenti (Dean, Hofstra)
  • Susan Poser (President, Hofstra)

9:45 am | Session One

  • Mark Niles (St. John's) (chair)
  • Kevin Baine (Williams & Connolly), Free Speech on Campus: The Liberal Challenge to a Liberal Ideal
  • Frederick Lawrence (Georgetown), The Remedy to be Applied is More Speech': the Rights, Responsibilities and Obligations of Free Expression at Law Schools
  • Thomas Healy (Seton Hall; Google Scholar), The Kids Are Alright

10:45 am | Comments and Reflections

  • Guido Calabresi (Yale)
  • Eduardo Peňalver (President, Seattle; Google Scholar)
  • David Rabban (Texas)
  • Danielle Holley (Dean, Howard)

1:30 pm | Session Two

  • Eric M. Freedman (Hofstra) (chair)
  • Leonard M. Niehoff (Michigan), Terrible Freedom, Ambiguous Authenticity, and the Pragmatism of the Endangered: Why Free Speech in Law School Gets Complicated
  • Mary Anne Franks (Miami; Google Scholar), How Law Schools Can Fight for Fearless Speech
  • Eugene Volokh (UCLA; Google Scholar), Threats to Free Expression as Threats to Effective Legal Education

2:30 pm | Comments and Reflections

  • Francesca L. Procaccini (Vanderbilt)
  • Robert C. Post (Yale)
  • Genevieve Lakier (Chicago)
  • Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Berkeley)

3:40 pm | Closing

  • Theresa J. Kelley (Editor-in-Chief, Hofstra Law Review, Volume 51) 
  • Norman I. Silber (Hofstra)

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