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U.Va. Conference To Convene Supreme Court Affirmative Action Contenders

March 11, 2003-- The University of Virginia School of Law offers a rare opportunity March 15 for participants in an important and controversial Supreme Court case to spar in front of a public audience only two weeks before the case is argued before the court.

Grutter v. Bollinger will test the legality of the affirmative action admissions program at the University of Michigan. The court’s decision will affect affirmative action at colleges across the nation.

The case scrimmage at U.Va. will include Jonathan Alger, assistant general counsel at the University of Michigan, and Curt Levey, director of legal and public affairs at the Center for Individual Rights, the organization that will challenge Michigan’s affirmative action program before the court.

Other participants include Richard Banks, associate professor of law at Stanford University, Roger Pilon, vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute, and Peter Rubin, professor of law at Georgetown University and president and co-founder of the American Constitution Society.

The session will be held Saturday, March 15, from 2:10 to 3:30 p.m. at the Caplin Auditorium at the U.Va. School of Law in Charlottesville. The session is part of a conference on public service and the law, founded by U.Va. law school students. The conference, in its fourth year, brings together students, faculty, attorneys and policymakers to explore public interest issues facing the legal community.

This year’s conference, held March 14-15, features panels and workshops on public service-related topics, including corporate responsibility; balancing freedom of the press and national security; and deportation and U.N. convention against torture. Featured speakers include former head of the American Bar Association Robert Hirshon, USA Freedom Corps Director John Bridgeland and keynote speaker Janet Napolitano, the governor of Arizona.

“The original mission of the conference was to encourage law students to pursue public service careers, but it has grown to be much more,” said law student and co-organizer Billy Wynne. “The conference brings together lawyers who are experts in their field to discuss issues that are of compelling concern not only to law students, but to our community as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, the conference illustrates for students the wide variety of ways that lawyers can and do become involved in public service.”

For more information and to see the schedule of events, visit

Contact: Mike Marshall, (434) 924-3763

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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