Symposium addressed race, racism, and law

– Photo courtesy of Wayne Law

Professor Emeritus Edward J. Littlejohn (left) greets Judge Damon J. Keith at The Journal of Law in Society Symposium on Friday, March 11, at Wayne State University Law School.
The Journal of Law in Society at Wayne State University Law School presented its 2016 symposium, “A Tribute to Professor Emeritus Edward J. Littlejohn and His Work with Race, Racism, and the Law,” on Friday, March 11.
The symposium paid tribute to Littlejohn’s scholarship, work in the city of Detroit and time on the law school faculty. Littlejohn, one of the leading experts on African-American legal history, played an instrumental role in the implementation of the Detroit Police Commission and served on the law school faculty during tumultuous times in the 1970s. Littlejohn gave the keynote address.

Those offering remarks included Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson; Professor Peter J. Hammer, director of Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights; U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon J. Keith, Sixth Circuit, who earned his master of laws degree from Wayne Law in 1956; third-year student Rachel Myung, journal editor-in-chief; and third-year student Sean Riddell, symposium director.

Panel discussion topics and panelists were:

• “The Past, Present, and Future of Michigan’s Black Lawyers and Judges” with Dennis Archer, chairman emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC; retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dalton Roberson; U.S. District Court Chief Judge Denise Page Hood, Eastern District of Michigan; and moderator Blanche Cook, Wayne Law assistant professor.

• “The Struggle for Racial Diversity in Legal Education” with Carl Edwards, Wayne Law class of 1974, partner with Edwards & Jennings PC; Ericka Jackson, class of 1997, WSU director of undergraduate admissions and former Wayne Law assistant dean of admissions and student affairs; Michael Steinberg, class of 1989, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan; and moderator Robert Sedler, Wayne Law distinguished professor.

• “Citizens’ Efforts to Hold Police Accountable for Misconduct” with Julie Hurwitz, partner with Goodman & Hurwitz PC; U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Eastern District of Michigan; Yusef “Bunchy” Shakur, owner of Urban Network; and moderator Eric Williams, Wayne Law assistant (clinical) professor.