The Quinlan Lecture April 2011: Constitutional Authority Kathleen M. Sullivan – “Is Constitutional Law Law? Recent Trends in Free Speech and Federalism”

Kathleen M. Sullivan, professor of law and former dean at Stanford Law School, will deliver OCU LAW’s annual Quinlan Lecture at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 7.

Sullivan will deliver a lecture titled “Is Constitutional Law Law? Recent Trends in Free Speech and Federalism.”

The lecture is a part of Oklahoma City University’s week of events surrounding the inauguration of OCU President Robert Henry.

“It is an honor to have such an influential legal scholar come to OCU to discuss one of the foundational elements of our country — free speech,” Henry said. “Kathleen Sullivan is a gifted litigator and is equally gifted in helping others understand the complexities of legal issues.”

Sullivan is the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, where she served as dean from 1999 to 2004, and a partner and chairwoman of the national appellate practice section at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, where she is based in the firm’s New York office. The first woman dean of any school at Stanford, she is also the first woman to become a name partner at any American Lawyer 100 law firm.

As a professor of law at Harvard and Stanford for more than 25 years, Sullivan has taught constitutional law to thousands of law students, served as co-author with Gerald Gunther of the nation’s leading casebook on constitutional law and published law review articles on a wide range of constitutional topics including federalism, separation of powers, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. She has also provided pro bono representation in a variety of cases involving civil rights and civil liberties, including the right of privacy.

Highly regarded as an appellate litigator, Sullivan has argued six cases in the U.S. Supreme Court; numerous cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Ninth and Federal Circuits; and various motions and appeals in state courts in New York, California and Delaware. Sullivan has been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California, by the National Law Journal as one of The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, by the American Lawyer Litigation Daily as Litigator of the Week and by California Lawyer as Appellate Lawyer of the Year.

Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, where she was a Telluride Scholar; a master’s degree from Oxford University, which she attended as a Marshall Scholar; and a juris doctor from Harvard Law School, where she won the Ames Moot Court competition. She was a law clerk to Judge James L. Oakes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1981-82. Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society, she serves on the boards of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Century Foundation and Foundation Press.

“Kathleen Sullivan is both a prolific constitutional scholar and a renowned appellate litigator,” said OCU LAW Dean Lawrence K. Hellman. “Whether she is in the law school classroom or presenting arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, she demonstrates both a towering intellect and an uncommon ability to make complex legal issues understandable. Her presentation should be a treat for the legal community and the general public.”

The Quinlan Lecture is named for longtime OCU LAW professor Wayne Quinlan. Previous lecturers include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Noah Feldman, Harvard law professor and senior advisor for constitutional law for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.