Please join Northeastern University School of Law for a symposium honoring the work of Professor Michael Meltsner, a national leader in the fight for civil rights and the abolition of the death penalty.

Friday, October 27, 2017 | 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
Northeastern University School of Law, 240 Dockser Hall

Hired by Thurgood Marshall, Matthews Distinguished University Professor Michael Meltsner was first assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1960s, where he handled major civil rights cases before the federal courts. Among his clients were the North Carolina doctors and dentists who ended Southern hospital racial segregation, Mohammad Ali and numerous death row inmates challenging capital punishment. After co-founding the clinical program at Columbia Law School, he served as dean of Northeastern University School of Law from 1979 until 1984. His memoir, The Making of a Civil Rights Lawyer, was published in 2006. Among his other writings are: Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment; Public Interest Advocacy; Reflections on Clinical Legal Education; and Short Takes, a novel. His most recent book, With Passion: An Activist Lawyer’s Life, has just been published by the Twelve Tables Press. His 2011 play, “In Our Name: A Play of the Torture Years,” has been performed in New York and Boston to great acclaim.

>>Save the date flyer

To RSVP for the Meltsner Festchrift, please contact Abby Waddleton,


Friday, October 27, 2017

8:00 to 9:00 AM

Continental Breakfast

9:00 to 10:15 AM

Champion of Civil Rights and Liberties

Mark Brodin
Professor and Michael and Helen Lee Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School

Margaret Burnham
University Distinguished Professor of Law and Director, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, Northeastern University School of Law

Randall Kennedy
Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Rose Zoltek-Jick
Associate Director, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, Northeastern University School of Law

Coffee Break

10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Ardent Abolitionist: Capital Punishment Over the Years

Corinna Lain
S.D. Roberts and Sandra Moore Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law

Evan Mandery
Professor and Chairperson, Department of Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Carol Steiker
Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program, Harvard Law School

Daniel Medwed
Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University School of Law