Marla Dickerson Lecture on Public Interest

Michael A. OlivasPlease join us for the Marla Dickerson Lecture on Public Interest at 3 p.m., Monday, April 16, at the Northern Illinois University College of Law. 

This year's lecture will be given by Michael A. Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center and Director of the Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance.  He is also the immediate past-president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).  Professor Olivas' lecture will be entitled, "Lessons Learned about the Legalization Debate, or Why Comprehensive Immigration Reform is in the Public Interest."

Professor Olivas will address comprehensive immigration reform issues, a public interest topic often considered too sensitive and too political for genuine discussion. He will review the restrictionist narrative, and show why the United States mythology of immigration is deep-rooted and ingrained in longstanding policies and practices. He will also detail his conclusion that much of the nativist rhetoric is essentially anti-Mexican, and why it has deleterious consequences. Drawing from his 2012 NYU Press book on the Plyler decision, he will use changing attitudes towards undocumented children as a counter-narrative, one where greater acceptance of the children has caused both positive accomodationist policies and restrictionist reactions.

The Marla Dickerson Public Interest Lecture Series was established to further the mission of our law school and appropriately honor the spirit of our former student, the late Marla Rene Dickerson (1969-1994). Funded by a donation from the Dickerson family, this lecture series brings nationally known speakers to the Northern Illinois University College of Law to discuss current issues relating to public interest. 

Previous speakers include:
Sarah Weddington
Professor Neal Katyal
Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr.  
Professor John Banzhaf