Open Minds: The Student Events Podcast

Want to get a feel for what Law School students are really interested in? Our numerous student organizations sponsor frequent lectures and panel discussions by both our own faculty and distinguished visitors. (Please note that as of March 1, 2014, we'll be retiring the Open Minds podcast. However, these archives will remain and you can still find new recordings of student events on this site's audio page or our Soundcloud page.)


October 3, 2013

Professor Henderson is a Professor of Law and Aaron Center Teaching Scholar at the Law School. He graduated from Princeton University cum laude and from the Law School with High Honors in 1998, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and was an Editor on the University of Chicago Law Review. After law school, Professor Henderson clerked for the Honorable Dennis Jacobs on the Second Circuit and worked for the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. He joined the Law School faculty in 2004. In 2010, Professor Henderson received the Paul M. Bator Award at the Federalist Society's Annual Student Symposium, an award given annually to an academic under 40 who demonstrate excellence in legal scholarship. His research interests include corporate law, securities regulation, law and economics, and bankruptcy.This talk was recorded October 2, 2013 and sponsored by the Federalist Society.

July 25, 2013

Join the Office of the Dean of Students for a program designed to prepare you for the evaluation and feedback process.  Our panelists will include: Ron Safer, Managing Partner at Schiff Hardin, Ann Cohen, Attorney Development and Recruiting Manager at Skadden, Rene de Vera, '08, Associate at Latham & Watkins, and Kristen Seeger, '02, Partner at Sidley Austin.  The panelists will address issues such as: what to expect from a formal evaluation; what to expect from an informal evaluation; how to request feedback; and how to act on feedback you receive.   Organized by the Office of the Dean of Students.  Generously sponsored by Schiff Hardin. This panel was recorded on May 6, 2013.

July 11, 2013

Experts anticipate that four generations are now working together in the workplace, and the legal workplace is no different.  Intergenerational differences, including differences in communication preferences and workstyles, can dramatically impact the workplace, leading to friction and misunderstandings.  Drop by to hear a short presentation by Jeffrey Parsons, a consultant with The Executive Edge, on how intergenerational differences play out in the workplace and for tips on how to navigate those differences in an effective manner. This talk was recorded on April 19, 2013, and sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students.

June 27, 2013

On April 9, 2013, the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, American Constitution Society and the Environmental Law Society presented a panel on local efforts to combat climate change: What can be done uniquely on a local level? What roles do the government, advocacy groups, and private corporations play? How do local efforts interact with state, federal, and global initiatives?

Jamie Ponce is the Chicago City Director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. In partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, Jamie works to drive economic and environmental benefits in the City of Chicago and across a network of global megacities.  He currently focuses on energy efficiency in commercial buildings, sustainable infrastructure finance, and market-driven resource stewardship.

Chris Gould is Exelon's Chief Sustainability Officer, and has responsibility for oversight of its environment policy, strategy and programs.

Bill Abolt is Vice President of CB&I Environmental & Infrastructure and leads its Sustainability, Energy and Carbon Management National Practice. Prior to joining CB&I (formerly the Shaw Group) he served as Environment Commissioner, Director of the Office of Budget and Management and Chief of Management, Office of the Mayor, for the City of Chicago, where he was responsible for developing Chicago's strategy to become one of the greenest cities in the United States.

June 14, 2013

Judge D. Brooks Smith sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, to which he was nominated in September of 2001. He previously served on the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1988 until his confirmation in 2002, serving as the Chief Judge from 2001 until his elevation to the Third Circuit. As a judge now serving on the Third Circuit, he hears appeals from federal cases arising in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Judge Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1973, and his Juris Doctor degree from The Dickinson School of Law in 1976. He began his legal career in Altoona, Pennsylvania, becoming the managing partner of the firm of Jubelirer, Carothers, Krier, Halpern & Smith in 1981. From 1983 to 1984, he served as Blair County District Attorney. In December 1984, Governor Dick Thornburgh appointed Judge Smith to the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County. The following year, Judge Smith was elected to a full ten-year term as judge. In1987, he became the Administrative Judge of the Blair County Court. Judge Smith is a member of the American Law Institute, the Federal Judges Association, and the American Judicature Society. He served on the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee of the United States Judicial Conference from 1993 to 1999. In 2006, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Judge Smith to another Judicial Conference Committee, the Committee on Space and Facilities.

Judge Smith also has assisted in efforts to enhance the rule of law in the judicial systems of Central and Eastern Europe. He has taught in judicial training sessions in Russia for the Department of State and with the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative; in Bulgaria, Latvia and Albania with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); in Kosovo with the International Development Law Organization; and in Bosnia and Macedonia with the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training. In 2007, he assisted USAID with an assessment of the legal system in the Republic of the Philippines as part of that Agency’s Commercial Law and Institutional Reform initiative; participated in a Judicial Ethics Training for the USAID Judicial Development Project in Chisinau, Moldova; and addressed an International Conference “On the Impact of the European Convention on Human Rights to the Development of the Azerbaijani Legal System,” in Baku, Azerbaijan. Most recently, in October 2008, Judge Smith returned to Moldova to speak on “The New Judicial Ethics Code: Interpretation and Application.”

Judge Smith has authored numerous academic articles. Most recently, he authored “Because Men Are Not Angels: Separation of Powers in the United States,” Duquesne Law Review (2009), “Promoting the Rule of Law and Respecting the Separation of Powers: The Legitimate Role of the American Judiciary Abroad,” 7 Ave Maria Law Review 1 (2008),and “Judicial Review in the United States,” 45 Duquesne Law Review 379 (2007). He teaches Class Actions and Complex Litigation at Penn State Law School.

This talk was recorded on March 29, 2013, and sponsored by the Federalist Society.

May 30, 2013

Sheli Z.Rosenberg, a member of Skadden’s Real Estate Group, joined the firm’s Chicago office in 2011. She has extensive, board-level corporate experience, in addition to her considerable knowledge of real estate law and the greater Chicago business community. She is listed as a leader in the real estate field in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Rosenberg is the former president, chief executive officer and vice chairman of Equity Group Investments, L.L.C. She joined EGI in 1980 as the company’s general counsel and rose to become CEO before departing in 2003. Prior to joining EGI, she was a managing partner of a major Chicago law firm, where she focused on real estate, finance and corporate law, and was the first woman to become a partner at that firm. Rosenberg currently serves on the board of directors/trustees of a number of public and private corporations, foundations, and community and charitable

Rosenberg was an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management until 2007. She is a co-founder and previous president of the Center for Executive Women at the Kellogg School, where she continues to serve on the center’s steering committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

May 16, 2013

Professor James Kearl is the A.O. Smoot Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD in economics from MIT and completed post-doctoral work at Harvard Law School. Professor Kearl was named a White House Fellow in 1983 and served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. His research interests include law and economics and economic analysis of public policy. 

William B. Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law Saul Levmore provided commentary.

This talk was recorded on February 22, 2013, and sponsored by the Federalist Society and the Dallin Oaks Society.

May 2, 2013

For nearly forty years, conservative-backed ALEC has secretively disseminated model laws to its network of more than 2,000 state legislators -- resulting in a weakened democracy and increased big-business dominance in American public life. Now, progressives are coming together to build the state and local political infrastructure necessary to support working families and the middle class, promote sustainability, and revitalize democracy. The American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange, or ALICE, is a small but vital piece of this infrastructure.

Joel Rogers is professor of law, political science, public affairs and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of COWS, the national strategy center for high road development and governance. He has written widely on American politics and democratic theory (e.g., On Democracy, Right TurnAssociations and Democracy, Metro Futures, Works Councils, Working Capital, What Workers Want, The Forgotten Majority), advised many politicians and governments, and helped found and operate several progressive NGOs (e.g., Center for a New Democracy, New Party, Economic Analysis Research Network, Apollo Alliance, Emerald Cities Collaborative, and, most recently, ALICE). A MacArthur Foundation fellow, Newsweek identifies him as one of the 100 living Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.

ALICE is an online public library of progressive state and local legislation written by citizens, including law students and professors at schools around the country. It brings together both “exemplary” laws (those introduced or enacted somewhere and worthy of replication) as well as “model” laws (those with suggested general language, ready to be tailored to a particular jurisdiction). There’s also background research, talking points, and other aids for effective communication. ALICE founder and executive director Joel Rogers will speak on how students can help ALICE promote a progressive agenda for states and cities.

This talk was sponsored by the American Constitution Society and recorded on February 27, 2013.

April 18, 2013

Robert M. Chesney is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Charles I. Francis Professor in Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

This talk was recorded on February 21, 2013, and sponsored by the Federalist Society.

April 4, 2013

The Exoneration Project presents "Convicting the Innocent: Addressing Wrongful Convictions in Cook County, Illinois"

The criminal justice system is imperfect, and Chicago's courts are no exception. Join us as students, alumni and clients of the Exoneration Project discuss the Project's efforts to investigate and litigate the problem of wrongful convictions in Cook County, Illinois. 

The panel included:

  • Tara Thompson, '03, Staff Attorney, Exoneration Project
  • Harold Richardson and James Kluppelberg, Exoneration Project clients
  • Charlotte Castillo, '14
  • Karl Leonard, '09

This talk was recorded on February 26, 2013.