The Quinlan Lecture 2005: Charles Ogletree Jr. – “Reflections on Brown v. Board, President Bush, and the Supreme Court”

Harvard Scholar Charles J. Ogletree Jr. to Give Oklahoma City University School of Law’s 2005 Quinlan Lecture

 Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School, will give the 2005 Quinlan Lecture at Oklahoma City University School of Law.  The title of his lecture is “Reflections on Brown v. Board, President Bush, and the Supreme Court.”

The event is slated for 5:00 p.m., Thursday, April 7, and will take place in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom in Sarkeys Law Center, located at the southwest corner of the campus of Oklahoma City University (corner of NW 23rd St and Kentucky). This lecture is free and open to the public.

Professor Ogletree is internationally known as a scholar and activist who works to secure equal rights under the law.  His most recent book, “All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education” (Norton, 2004), is both memoir and analysis and demonstrates how the promise of the seminal case has been frustrated. Against the backdrop of the role of race in American society and law, “All Deliberate Speed” treats judicial ambivalence, affirmative action, reparations, and important legal personalities. It has been called “the story of an entire generation, male and female of all races.”   

He confronts complex issues of race and law in his other books as well – “Brown at 50: The Unfinished Legacy” and “Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities.” The author of many articles, chapters, and other works, Professor Ogletree has addressed – among other issues – race and the death penalty; providing legal representation in the United States, South Africa, and China; public defenders and youthful offenders; reparations; and race and immigration.

Professor Ogletree received his B.A. and M.A. in political science (with distinction) from Stanford University, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was Special Projects Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review. After graduating from law school in 1978, he worked as a staff attorney in the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, and then entered private practice. He became an assistant professor at Harvard Law School in 1989, and was awarded the Jesse Climenko chair in 1998. In April 2004, he was appointed Director of Harvard Law School’s new Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He has held the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon Law School and served as Scholar in Residence at Stanford University.

A scholar deeply engaged in seeking justice, he serves as Co-Chair (with Randall Robinson) of the Reparations Coordinating Committee, represents the plaintiffs (survivors and descendants) in the Tulsa Race Riot reparations case, and served as legal counsel to Professor Anita Hill during the Senate confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

He has moderated a number of television forums for Tavis Smiley Productions (State of the Black Union and Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community), PBS (Fred Friendly’s Ethics in America series), and others, and his op-ed pieces have appeared in many of America’s major newspapers.

His scholarship and activism have earned many honors and awards. In 2000, The National Law Journal named him one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, and in 2003, he was selected by Savoy Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in America and by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the legal legends among America’s top black lawyers. In 2002, he received the National Bar Association’s Equal Justice Award. He holds many honorary degrees, served for ten years on Stanford’s Board of Trustees (chairing the Stanford Fund for five years), and serves as Chairman of the Board of the University of the District of Columbia. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of the B.E.L.L. Foundation, which is committed to educating minority children in after-school programs in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Professor Ogletree has had an illustrious career as a champion of rights. His scholarly, adversarial, and philanthropic efforts have benefited many. “Reflections on Brown v. Board, President Bush, and the Supreme Court” will be an important address of interest to lawyers, academics, students, and the public at large.

The Quinlan Lecture is named for long-time Oklahoma City University School of Law professor Wayne Quinlan. Born in 1917 in Woods County, Oklahoma, Professor Quinlan received his B.A. from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He received his M.A. and LL.B degrees from the University of Oklahoma. His education was interrupted by a 3 ½ year period of military service during World War II. He had a distinguished private practice and served as a Special Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1966 and 1967. He taught at Oklahoma City University from 1952 until his death in 1981. Professor Quinlan’s love for constitutional law and American history inspired the faculty to name this annual lecture in his honor.

Oklahoma City University School of Law is fully approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. It offers full- and part-time degree programs and serves a diverse student body of approximately 650, including many working professionals and other non-traditional students. Approximately half of its students come from outside Oklahoma, and its nearly 5,500 alumni practice in every state and several foreign countries.