Throughout the year, the Bluhm Legal Clinic highlighted many issues around the series’ theme including, the Illinois Blueprint for Peace, Restorative Justice, and Illinois Resentencing Statues.
Appellate Advocacy Center Welcomes Speakers for “Lawyering and Race” Series Event
In October, the Center welcomed Luke McCloud (Williams & Connolly), Devi Rao (MacArthur Justice Center), and Nicolas Martinez (Bartlit Beck) to Chicago, as part of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s “Lawyering and Race” series. In the panel, “Why Aren’t There More Persons of Color on the Appellate Bar?”, McCloud spoke about his experience as the first Black man to argue a case in the Supreme Court in eleven years, and Devi and Nicolas shared their insights on addressing the pipeline problem.
In September, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Children & Family Justice Center continued its “Lawyering and Race in the 21st Century” series with a discussion on the Illinois Blueprint for Peace, a recently published report of recommendations to build peace and prevent gun violence in Illinois. The panel was led by representatives from the four co-convening entities: the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, the Illinois Justice Project, Live Free Illinois, and the CFJC. Hosted in the student area of the Bluhm Legal Clinic, the 90-minute conversation addressed the newly minted report, the need for community engagement, and the power the media holds in advocacy work.
In April, the Center on Wrongful Convictions’ Women’s Defense Initiative hosted a panel, “Illinois’ Resentencing Statutes and their Impact for Black Women,” as part of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s series on “Lawyering and Race in the 21st Century.” The discussion highlighted Illinois’ domestic violence and postpartum depression resentencing provisions.
The speakers included Alexis Mansfield, senior advisor at the Women’s Justice Institute; Rachel White-Domain, director of the Women and Survivors Project at Illinois Prison Project; Latoya Griffin, a freed person who was granted clemency in 2021; and Sandra Brown, a freed person who was released in 2022 and now an analytical senior advisor at the Women’s Justice Institute. Moderated by Jianing Xie, staff attorney at the Women’s Defense Initiative, the panel answered questions from the audience and reflected on the ways the criminal justice system disproportionally affects Black women who are victims of domestic violence and suffer from post-partum psychosis.
In March, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Bluhm Legal Clinic continued its “Lawyering and Race in the 21st Century” series with “Beyond Punishment: Restorative Justice and Health Equity.” Hosted online and in-person, the 90-minute conversation addressed public health, the need for restorative justice, and how income inequity contributes to the health crisis.
The speakers included Broderick Hollins, a student in the Northwestern Prison Education Program; Robin Heggum, professor in the Health Science department at Northeastern Illinois University; Thalia Gonzalez (JD ’04), professor at Occidental College; and Joseph Mapp, a restorative justice practitioner. Introduced by Annalise Buth, clinical assistant professor of law, and several Northwestern Pritzker Law students, the panel answered questions from the audience and reflected on the theme.