The Latham & Watkins Forum hosts topical conversations among leading players.

Stephen Ross

NYU Law’s ongoing discussion series, renamed the Latham & Watkins Forum, returned for a ninth academic year in Fall 2017, bringing leading players to campus to discuss current legal issues before an audience of Law School community members.

The series kicked off in September with commentary on upcoming Supreme Court arguments—the Masterpiece Cakeshop and Wisconsin political gerrymandering cases among them—by an expert panel that included New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak and Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law Kenji Yoshino. Later that month, Preet Bharara, former US attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne Milgram ’96, former New Jersey attorney general—both distinguished scholars in residence at the Law School—engaged in dialogue about how to maintain personal and professional integrity as a government lawyer in a highly politicized environment

A panel in October on the role of White House lawyers and senior advisers in formulating national security policy included Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law Ryan Goodman; Distinguished Senior Fellow Lisa Monaco, former assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism; and Kathryn Ruemmler, former White House counsel.

A November Forum on criminal prosecution reform, moderated by Professor of Clinical Law Anthony Thompson, included Larry Krasner, the newly elected district attorney of Philadelphia, and Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor. “For far too long, prosecutors have had these decades-old, failed policies—‘tough on crime’—and it’s led to mass incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, mostly,” Mosby said. “We have not taken a holistic sort of approach and gotten to the root causes of why crimes take place.”

The same month, major real estate developer (and Miami Dolphins owner) Stephen Ross LLM ’66 and his longtime friend and adviser Martin Edelman, senior of counsel at Paul Hastings, discussed law, business, and philanthropy.

Amy Adler

In January, the first Forum of the spring semester focused on the movement combating sexual harassment and misconduct that is represented by the social media hashtag #MeToo. The discussion explored how social media may be highlighting inadequacies in the law and also looked at #MeToo’s impact on due process, women in the workplace, and sexuality and romance.

“One of the things that’s astonishing to me about the #MeToo movement,” said Emily Kempin Professor of Law Amy Adler, “is that it is a revolution that has happened and really sidestepped law, making law look, in my view, irrelevant for the moment.”

The following month, four NYU Law tax professors tackled the complexities of the controversial 2017 federal tax legislation. Later in February, Jason SchultzProfessor of Clinical Law Jason Schultz moderated a discussion on accountability for automated decisions made through artificial intelligence; he also guided a discussion in April about how copyright shapes technology innovation.

Contrasting old and new media during the April Forum, Fred von Lohmann, former director of copyright at Google, explained: “Television is the velvet rope—nobody gets in unless you’ve got lawyers, insurance, and you’re vetted before you get to the door, right?… The internet, thanks to the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act], is the bouncer. Everybody gets in the door, but if you misbehave, you get thrown out.”

Posted September 4, 2018