Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington

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News Release

Contact: Melody Mitchell, NIU College of Law
(815) 753-9655

November 9, 2007

Roe v. Wade lawyer Sarah Weddington to give
annual Marla Dickerson Public Interest Lecture

Sarah Weddington, a nationally renowned attorney and women’s rights advocate, will present the Fourth Annual Marla Dickerson Public Interest Lecture this week at the NIU College of Law.

Weddington will present her lecture, “Some Leaders are Born Women,” at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Francis X. Riley Courtroom of Swen Parson Hall. A reception will follow the lecture in the Marshall Gallery. Weddington also will sign copies of her book, “A Question of Choice,” which will be available for purchase.

Weddington is best known for arguing the winning side of the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the United States Supreme Court in 1973 when she was only 26. Since then, her roles in public service have spanned from attorney, legislator and presidential adviser to women’s rights advocate and professor.

Weddington’s notable career in public interest began in 1972, when she was the first woman from Austin elected to the Texas House of Representatives. Her career in government also included serving as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s general counsel, as assistant to former President Jimmy Carter and as director of the Texas Office of State-and-Federal Relations.

Today, Weddington writes and speaks extensively on women’s issues and the development of leadership skills. She authored the bestseller, “A Question of Choice,” which details the Roe v. Wade case, and she currently is working on her next book on the topic of leadership and self-renewal.

She has been recognized nationally on a number of occasions for her role as a leader and advocate for women’s issues. Among her many accolades are the prestigious International Athena Award, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Margaret Sanger Award, the Woman of Distinction Award from the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, and being honored as the “Texas Woman of the Century” by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas.

Weddington received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1967 and is a distinguished alumna of McMurry University.

Funded by a donation from the Dickerson Family, the Marla Dickerson Public Interest Lecture Series was established to bring distinguished speakers to the NIU College of Law to discuss current issues relating to public interest and appropriately honor the spirit of Dickerson.

Dickerson is a former NIU Law student who died in a plane crash in 1994 during her second year of law school. She was determined to use her legal education in public interest.

This event is free and open to the public.

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