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February 29, 2008

UT Law student groups host Progressive Week, March 2–5, 2008

Student groups at The University of Texas School of Law have joined together to present a series of progressive law-related events March 2–5, 2008.

Progressive Week includes presentations on the Roberts Court and the Fourth Amendment, the rights of prisoners who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, and race and the war on drugs. The week will begin Sunday, March 2 with a “Potluck for Progress” and conclude with a happy hour on Wednesday, March 5. Coordinated by the president of the UT Chapter of the American Constitution Society, Jason Steed, ’09, the schedule includes events hosted by the ACS chapter, the Human Rights Law Society, OutLaw, the Public Interest Law Association, the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and the UT Law Student Chapter of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. According to Steed, Progressive Week’s purpose “is to bring together groups and individuals who share a commitment to progressive ideas and issues, and to provide opportunities for contemplating, discussing, and advancing those ideas and issues.”

UT Law Progressive Week Events:

Potluck for Progress
The Public Interest Law Association will host a potluck to kick off the week’s activities. For details, email

Progressive Week Kick-off — 8:30am–noon, Atrium
Student organizations committed to progressive issues and ideas will provide information in the atrium.

The Roberts Court and the Fourth Amendment — 11:30am–4:30pm, Sheffield Room
The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights will hold its annual symposium. Speakers will include: Tom Goldstein (Akin Gump); Professor Ronald Sullivan (Harvard Law School); George Dix (UT School of Law); Andrew Taslitz (Howard University School of Law); Luke Milligan (University of Louisville School of Law); Judge Michael Keasler (Texas Court of Criminal Appeals).

GLBT Rights in Prison — 11:30am, conference room in George’s Café
Professor Michele Deitch, drafter of the ABA’s proposed legal standards for the treatment of prisoners, will speak about the safety, privacy, health, and support of prisoners who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender, with a particular emphasis on issues surrounding prison rape, and on issues related to the incarceration of transgender persons. This event is sponsored by OutLaw and the Human Rights Law Society. Freebird’s Burritos will be provided (by HRLS) for the first thirty-five people who attend.

Lives in the Law Speaker Series Panel — 3:30–5:00pm, Eidman Courtroom
Former clerks of the Honorable William Wayne Justice will reflect on their lives in public interest law and public service. A reception will follow in the Jamail Pavilion. For more information about the panelists, see Presented by the Career Services Office and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.

The Importance of the Civil Justice System — 11:30am, Room 3.142
The UT Law Student Chapter of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) presents “The Importance of the Civil Justice System in Holding Corporate Wrongdoers Accountable and Protecting Consumers,” a talk by Mark Kincaid, a trial lawyer with Kincaid & Horton and adjunct professor at UT Law.

Race & the War on Drugs: A Film Screening — 12:30pm, 2.123
The American Constitution Society will sponsor the screening of a film on drug law and policy. Tracy Hayes, an organizer with the ACLU, will answer questions about the film and discuss her involvement in the Tulia case. In Tulia, forty-six persons were arrested in a drug sting, forty of whom were African Americans—nearly 15% of the town’s African American population. Lunch will be provided.

A Special Hearing on Capital Punishment: Perspectives at the Death House Door — 1:00–2:45pm, Texas Capitol, Room E1.016
A panel of lawyers, elected officials, scholars, and individuals with personal experiences surrounding executions will discuss current issues related to the death penalty, including wrongful convictions, lethal injection, and the role of religious/moral values in executions. Presented by the Independent Film Channel and the UT Law Capital Punishment Center. The program will feature clips from the new IFC documentary, “At the Death House Door,” directed by Steve James and Peter Gilbert, which will premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.

Party for Progress — Human Rights Law Society Happy Hour
The Human Rights Law Society will host a Happy Hour to celebrate the conclusion of Progressive Week. Faculty, community practitioners, and law students are invited. Email or for details.

Contact: Jason Steed, (801) 717-6097,; or Amber Vanschuyver, (512) 905-6101,