University of Pittsburgh
January 10, 2006

Pitt to Present a Conversation with Judge Robert L. Carter and Professor Derrick Bell

Carter, chief legal strategist in several landmark civil rights cases, is Federal District Judge in the Southern District of New York; Bell, founder of the study of the critical race theory, is the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Distinguished Lecturer and Scholar
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh School of Law will host a conversation between Judge Robert L. Carter and Professor Derrick Bell from 4 to 5 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Teplitz Memorial Court Room in the Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The event and the reception that follows are free and open to the public.

Carter was the chief legal strategist for many landmark civil rights cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. As NAACP assistant special counsel from 1945 to 1956 and general counsel from 1956 to 1968, he won 21 of 22 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Carter has served as Federal District Judge in the Southern District of New York since his appointment in 1972 by President Richard Nixon. He is the author of the recently published book A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights (New Press, 2005), which legal journalist Nina Totenberg states "reads both like a novel and a social commentary on the 20th century."

A Distinguished Lecturer and Scholar in the University's School of Law for the 2005-06 academic year, Bell is a visiting professor in New York University School of Law. He taught at Harvard Law School for almost two decades and is considered a founder of the study of critical race theory and a champion of gender and race diversity in the legal community. Recruited by the late U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall to join the legal team at the NAACP, Bell worked closely with his mentors, Carter and the late Constance Baker Motley. Bell is a 1957 honors graduate of Pitt's law school, where he served as associate editor in chief of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. An accomplished writer, Bell is the author of several books, including And We Are Not Saved: The Exclusive Quest for Racial Justice (Harper San Francisco, 1987), Constitutional Conflicts (Anderson Publishing Company, 1997), and The Derrick Bell Reader (New York University Press, 2005).

Janet Dewart Bell, a 2005-2006 Visiting Research Professor in Pitt's School of Law and the previous editor of the National Urban League's The State of Black America, will moderate the conversation.