The Judge Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service honors the late Judge Frank M. Coffin, longtime federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, former member of Congress, renowned leader and mentor in public service, and beloved friend of the University of Maine School of Law. The Lecture is presented annually by a distinguished speaker during the fall semester.
2020 Judge Frank M. Coffin Lecture
The 28th annual Judge Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service will be presented virtually by Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, on October 29, 2020 at 7:00 pm. He will discuss “Challenging Immigration Policies: An Inside View From an ACLU Lawyer at the Center of the Fight.” Sameer Ahmed, a clinical instructor at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program at Harvard Law School, will introduce Mr. Gelernt.
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by October 27th at this link http://www.mainelawcommunity.org/2020-coffin-lecture. The week of the lecture, registrants will receive a personalized Zoom link which provides access to the event.
Mr. Gelernt has been a lawyer at the ACLU’s national office in New York since 1992, and currently holds the positions of Deputy Director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project and Director of the Project’s Access to the Courts Program. He is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading public interest lawyers and has argued dozens of groundbreaking civil rights cases during his career, including two significant cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also testified as an expert before both houses of Congress. In addition to his work at the ACLU, he is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, and for several years was a visiting professor at Yale Law School. He is also a former law clerk to Judge Coffin (1988-89).
- 2019: Dr. Richard J. Maiman, Judge Coffin’s biographer and Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern Maine (View video of the panel discussion by the Coffin Clerks.)
- 2018: John Cruden, President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and Principal at Beveridge & Diamond, PC
- 2017: Ambassador Rick Barton, Co-Director of the Princeton Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative
- 2016: Margaret Groban, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Maine
- 2015: Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
- 2014: Kevin Gover, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian
- 2013: Judge Nancy Gertner, Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School
- 2012: Jeffrey Lehman, NYU Shanghai & Peking University School of Transnational Law
- 2011: Jonathan Lash, World Resources Institute
- 2010: Stephen H. Oleskey, WilmerHale
- 2009: Kurt L. Schmoke, Dean, Howard University School of Law
- 2008: The Honorable Judith Kaye, Chief Judge of New York State
- 2007: Kenneth R. Feinberg, Special Master, Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund
- 2005: Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney General
- 2004: Justice Richard J. Goldstone, Constitutional Court of South Africa
- 2003: Scott Harshbarger, former President, Common Cause
- 2002: The Honorable Cruz Reynoso, Boocheever and Bird Chair, University of California Davis School of Law
- 2001: Professor Chai Feldblum, Georgetown University Law Center
- 2000: Alan B. Morrison, Director, Public Citizen Litigation Group
- 1999: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court
- 1998: Warren B. Rudman, former U.S. Senator
- 1997: Professor Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
- 1996: Alvin J. Bronstein, Director, ACLU National Prison Project
- 1995: U.S. Solicitor General Drew S. Days, III
- 1994: Judge Patricia M. Wald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
- 1993: Professor Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
- 1992: Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. (Lecture delivered posthumously by his wife, Olie Rauh, son Michael Rauh, and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court)
For more information on Judge Coffin view the Frank M. Coffin Catalog of Speeches, Addresses, and Lectures. This is a catalog of more than 140 speeches, addresses and lectures given by Judge Coffin on the following topics: the judiciary as an institution, judging, the law, the legal profession, legal education, and tributes to other judges, politicians, world leaders, professors and scholars.