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February 22, 2010

Law and Philosophy Program sponsors annual Leon Green, '15, Lecture in Jurisprudence, March 4, 2010

The Law and Philosophy Program at the University of Texas School of Law is sponsoring this year’s annual Leon Green, ’15, Lecture in Jurisprudence on Thursday, March 4, 2010. This year’s lecturer will be Professor Kent Greenawalt, University Professor at Columbia University. Greenawalt will deliver a lecture titled “Legal Interpretation: What, if Anything, Have Other Disciplies to Say” in the Law School’s Sheffield Room (Townes Hall 2.111) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Greenawalt’s scholarly interests are in constitutional law and jurisprudence, with special emphasis on church and state, freedom of speech, legal interpretation, and criminal responsibility. His publications include Conflicts of Law and Morality (1987), Religious Convictions and Political Choice (1988), Speech, Crime, and the Uses of Language (1989), Law and Objectivity (1992), Fighting Words (1995), Private Consciences and Public Reasons (1995), Statutory Interpretation: Twenty Questions (1999), and Does God Belong in Public Schools? (2005); as well as Religion and the Constitution, Volume 1, Free Exercise and Fairness (2006), and Volume 2, Establishment and Fairness (2008).

John Deigh, a professor at the Law School and in the Philosophy department at the University of Texas will moderate the lecture.

The first annual Leon Green lecture was delivered by Stephen R. Perry, the John J. O’Brien Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, in March 2002.

Past Green lecturers include Liam Murphy, Jules Coleman, John Gardner, Nicola Lacey, Leslie Green, and Hillel Steiner.

Leon Green, who received his LL.B. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1915, was one of the twentieth century’s most important tort scholars and a leading figure in American legal realism. Green taught at the University of Texas (1915–1918, 1921–1926, and 1947–1977), and Yale University (1927–1929). In addition, he served as dean at the University of North Carolina (1926–1927) and Northwestern University (1929–1947) law schools.

Three of Green’s students received appointments to the United States Supreme Court: John Paul Stevens and Arthur Goldberg from Northwestern University, and Thomas Campbell Clark from the University of Texas.

Among Green’s many important works are Rationale of Proximate Cause (1927), Judge and Jury (1930), The Judicial Process in Tort Cases (1931), and My Philosophy of the Law (1941). The Tarlton Law Library at the UT School of Law maintains the Leon Green Papers, which include correspondence, literary productions, speeches, printed material, and law school administrative and teaching material. Most of the collection reflects Green’s activities as an educator and legal scholar.

The annual Leon Green Lecture in Jurisprudence ranges widely over issues of jurisprudential significance, reflecting Green’s view that, “Any satisfying philosophy of law found in a philosophy of the total social organism of which law is only a phase.” (My Philosophy of the Law 136 [1941]).

Related links:

Professor John Deigh

Professor Kent Greenawalt

Law and Philosophy Program at UT


Mike Strong, colloquium coordinator, UT Law, 512-232-1154,