Senator Warren with UDC Law students

On October 2, 2013, in the UDC Theater of the Arts, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivered 21st Annual Joseph L. Rauh Jr. Lecture to a crowd of over 500 students, staff, faculty alumni and friends of the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.

Senator Warren – often cited as a potential 2016 presidential candidate by liberal and progressive Democrats – is a fearless consumer advocate who has made her life’s work the fight for middle and working class families and is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing families. The Boston Globe has called her “the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks.” She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

After a welcome by School of Law Foundation Chair Mike Rauh, UDC President Lyons, and School of Law Dean Shelley Broderick, Senator Warren was introduced by Wade Henderson, the School of Law’s Joseph L. Rauh Professor of Public Interest Law and, by day, the President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

After receiving a standing ovation, Senator Warren prefaced her remarks with a preamble referencing the government shutdown and other current political events. She then homed in on her main topic – President Obama’s three recent nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is often considered the “Second Highest Court in America” because of its jurisdiction over numerous federal agency cases. After citing studies revealing the systemic bias towards the nomination of federal judges who have served the corporate world, the Senator described the President’s choices in some detail – not only for their legal acumen, but also due to the diversity of experience they would bring to the bench.

The Rauh Lecture is named for the late, great civil rights and civil liberties lawyer Joe Rauh, who was a founding member of the School of Law’s Board of Governors. His son, Michael Rauh, has served as School of Law Foundation Board Chair person since the mid ‘90s. Previous Rauh Lecturers have included Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Pat Leahy, Congressmen John Lewis and Barney Frank, Vernon Jordan, Theodore Shaw, and other leading attorneys.

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