Givelber Lecturers

Fall 2013

Cindy Cohn
Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
"Civil Liberties Lawyering in the Digital Age: Free Speech, Privacy, Surveillance and More"

By now it is a truism that digital technologies have a tremendous impact on civil liberties. But the reverse is also true -- sensitivity to civil liberties can help shape digital technologies as well. The Internet gave everyone a soapbox to create websites, blog, tweet or publish videos to the world even as those same speech activities are heavily dependent on the immunities available to a string of technological intermediaries. And of course the digitization of communications also allowed the NSA to conduct the unprecedented mass surveillance of innocent people around the world. Similarly, the digitization of books allows the possibility of universal access to all human knowledge, even as the most of current crop of e-books vendors conduct unfettered tracking of readers and use contract restrictions and digital locks to eliminate the ability to lend or resell works.

Lawyering in this fast-moving environment requires recognition that "architecture is policy" and that the decisions of how technologies are configured, both technologically and legally, can have a tremendous role in either granting users more liberties or bringing about dystopian scenarios. It also takes a civil liberties lawyer to strange places -- copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrecy law all play a bigger role in protecting civil liberties online than they ever did offline. Through case studies and analysis of current headlines, we'll look at the law's struggle with new technologies and the various tools available to lawyers -- litigation, advising technology developers and researchers, legislation, participation in regulatory processes and public activism -- to try to steer both law and technology toward more protection for civil liberties and away from paths that would reduce them.

Summer 2013

Andrea Ritchie
Police Misconduct Attorney, New York 
“Policing Gender and Sexuality: Case Studies in Community-Based Lawyering”
Andrea Ritchie is a police misconduct attorney and organizer in New York City. She has engaged in extensive research, writing, speaking, litigation, organizing and advocacy on profiling, policing, and physical and sexual violence by law enforcement agents against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the US and Canada over the past decade. She currently coordinates Streetwise & Safe (SAS), a leadership development initiative aimed at building knowledge, community and power among LGBT youth of color with experience of gender, race, sexuality and poverty-based policing and criminalization in the context of “quality of life” initiatives and the policing of sex work and trafficking. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors of theYoung Women’s Empowerment Project (YWEP) and as a member of the Safe Outside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project. She is also counsel, along with Joey Mogul, in Tikkun v. City of New York, et al., a civil rights action challenging unconstitutional and overly invasive searches of transgender people by New York City Police officers. In 2009 she served as the Director of the Sex Workers Project.  She was a primary author of In the Shadows of the War on Terror: Persistent Police Brutality and Abuse in the United States, a “shadow report” submitted on behalf of over 100 national and local organizations and individuals to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Ritchie was as an expert consultant, lead researcher and coauthor for Amnesty International’s 2005 report Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the United StatesShe was also a consultant and co-author for Caught in the Net, a report on women and the “war on drugs” published by the ACLU, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Break the Chains, and Education Not Deportation: Impacts of New York City School Safety Policies on Immigrant Youth, published by Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM). Her book, Everyday Violence: Racial Profiling and Police Brutality Against Women and Transgender People of Color, will be published in 2013.

Fall 2012

Carl Williams
Criminal Defense Attorney, Roxbury Defenders Unit, Committee for Public Counsel Services
"Crash the System: Social Justice Movements v. The Law" 
Carl Williams is a criminal defense attorney with the Roxbury Defenders Unit of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Mr. Williams is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1991) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (2006). A long-time resident of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, he has been an activist and organizer on issues of war, immigrant's right, LGBT rights, racial justice and Palestinian self-determination. Mr. Williams is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and has served on its Massachusetts board of directors. During the Occupy Boston movement he was part its legal defense and support team, which provided nearly 24-hour support to the participants.

Fall 2011

Elyse Cherry '83
Chief Executive Officer, Boston Community Capital
"Enhancing the Flow of Capital to Low Income Communities:  A Lawyer's Role"
Elyse Cherry is Chief Executive Officer of Boston Community Capital, and the President of Boston Community Venture Fund, an affiliate of Boston Community Capital. Ms. Cherry helped found Boston Community Capital in 1984 as a member of its original Board of Directors.  Under her leadership, Boston Community Capital has grown from a single, debt-based business line to a multi-tiered organization that includes two double bottom-line venture funds, a national tax credit program, a mortgage brokerage, a mortgage lender aimed at stabilizing urban neighborhoods, a real estate acquisition entity, and an alternative energy initiative focused on controlling utility costs in multi-family affordable housing developments.  In addition, Ms. Cherry is an active civic leader. She served as a member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s nineteen-member statewide transition team.  Ms. Cherry is a frequent panelist and speaker at national conferences.   Ms. Cherry is an attorney and a former partner at the law firm of Hale and Dorr, now known as Wilmer Hale, where her transactional practice focused on commercial real estate finance and development.  Early in her career, Ms. Cherry served as a field examiner at the New England region of the National Labor Relations Board and as a VISTA volunteer in rural Tennessee. Ms. Cherry is a graduate of Wellesley College (1975) and the Northeastern University School of Law where she delivered the student commencement address. 

Summer 2011

Monique Harden
Co-Director and Co-Founder, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights
“Environmental Justice and Human Rights Law”
This course is designed for students interested in the intersection of human rights and environmental protection. The course will explore the environmental justice movement in the United States and its global linkages to environmental human rights law. Course materials focus on the similarities and differences of statutory, administrative, and judicial responses to toxic and hazardous environmental conditions in the United States and select foreign countries. Students will be evaluated on a course project involving environmental human rights litigation.

Fall 2010

Stuart Rossman
Staff Attorney and Director of Litigation, National Consumer Law Center
“Predatory Lending on Trial: Consumer Advocacy Impact Litigation in the Fringe Financing Marketplace”
Students can expect to gain or improve their consumer advocacy and civil litigation skills, as well as deepen their substantive understanding of state and federal consumer laws and procedure in this brief course.

Summer 2010

Cynthia Chandler
Executive Director, Justice Now (Oakland, California)
“Social Change vs. Appropriation; Abolition vs. Reform”
The course will examine the role and limits of the law in effecting radical social change as seen through critical examination of the current work of the prison reform movement and the counter modern resurgence of the prison industrial complex abolition movement.  Emphasis will be placed on evaluation of legal tools for effecting gender liberation, racial justice, and anti-violence strategies (including anti-state violence).  In addition to critiquing the role of law, students will be asked to explore the viability and possibility of combining the law with communications, human rights, organizing, and other tools to impact social change:  generally asking who should use the law and how, toward what end, and how do you know when you get there.  The course is intended to prepare students for on-the-ground problem-solving as practitioners and activists surrounding lawyering, coalition building, evaluating one's impact, ethical use of one's power, and what to do if your strategies "fail."

Fall 2009

Howard Friedman ’77
Law Offices of Howard Friedman, PC
"Litigation: Liability of Law Enforcement Officers and Local Government Entities"

Summer 2009

Julie Su
Litigation Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
“Strategies for Social Change Lawyering: Litigation and Beyond in the Fight for Worker Justice”
Course Syllabus


Fall 2008

Eugene Benson
Legal Counsel and Services Program Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment
“Environmental Justice: Using Law and Advocacy for Social Change”

Summer 2008

Nina Perales
Regional Counsel, San Antonia Office, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
“Latino Civil Rights Litigation: Contemporary Responses to Voting Discrimination”