Frederick Douglass Forum: The Liberal Arts and Law

Liberal Arts

Frederick Douglass Forum: “Lawyers, Guns & Money: A Judge Looks at Law, Liberal Arts, and Law School”


The Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice at Linfield College, a JMC partner program, will be hosting Oregon Supreme Court Justice Thomas A. Balmer for a lecture on how his liberal arts education prepared him for law school and his career. In part, the event helps celebrate Linfield’s new Law, Rights, and Justice major.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 • 4:30 PM
Austin Reading Room, Nicholson Library • Linfield College

Free and open to the public

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Thomas A. BalmerThomas A. Balmer is the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. He was elected by his colleagues as Oregon’s 43rd Chief Justice and began service in 2012. He was first appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor John Kitzhaber in 2001 and was elected and re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. Chief Justice Balmer practiced with the Portland law firm of Ater Wynne LLP and its predecessor firm, Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler from 1982-1993 and 1997-2001, and also served as Managing Partner. He was Deputy Attorney General of Oregon from 1993 to 1997. Earlier in his career, he was an associate with Wald, Harkrader & Ross in Washington, D.C., a Trial Attorney with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice , and an associate with the Boston firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart. Chief Justice Balmer received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977 and his A.B. from Oberlin College in 1974. He is the author of numerous articles, book reviews, book chapters and op-ed columns on antitrust, constitutional law and other topics.

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The Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice at Linfield College aims to promote reflection, discussion, and debate about the rule of law, individual rights, and competing conceptions of justice. It seeks to achieve this aim through an interdisciplinary major and minor in Law, Rights, and Justice (housed in the Department of Political Science), student reading/discussion groups and a lecture/debate series. The Forum is named in honor of Frederick Douglass, who devoted his nearly six decades in public life to the “mission” of hastening “the day when the principles of liberty and humanity expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States shall be the law and the practice of every section, and of all the people of this great country without regard to race, sex, color, or religion.” The Douglass Forum, hopes to provide students, faculty, and members of the community with opportunities to witness and participate in serious discussions about how Douglass’s mission ought to be carried on today.

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