Chancellor’s Speaker Series Welcomes Famed Attorney

As a continuing part of the Chancellor’s Speaker Series for 2000-01, WCU will welcome Alan Dershowitz, a famous legal scholar and best selling author, on Thursday, March 1. Dershowitz’s fame has come in part by the fact that he has defended such well-known and controversial clients as O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, Michael Milken and Claus von Bulow.

Dershowitz’s presentation is entitled “Why Good Lawyers Defend Bad People.” The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center and is open to the public free of admission charge. A brief question-and-answer session and a book signing will conclude the evening program.

Prior to the scheduled presentation, Dershowitz will be part of an informal afternoon discussion beginning at 3:30. The smaller, students-only session will be held in the University Center Grandroom.

Newsweek has described him as “the nation’s paripatetic civil-liberties lawyer and one of the most distinguished defenders of individual rights.” He has also been profiled in such prominent publications as Esquire, Life, People, Business Week, Fortune, New York Magazine, and TV Guide.

Dershowitz’s list of clients includes Leona Helmsley, Jim Bakker, Christian Brando, Penthouse magazine, Sen. Alan Cranston, John Landis and David Crosby. His work has also included defending death row inmates and several notable lawyers.

Yet Dershowitz’s career has not been limited to the attorney scene, and instead has reached into the publishing world. His work has established him as a prolific writer. More than 50 of his articles have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed Pages.

Also, more than 100 of his articles have appeared in journals such as the New York Review, The Harvard Law Review, The Yale Law Journal, The Stanford Law Review, The American Bar Association Journal, The Jerusalem Post, The International Herald Tribune The Washington Post, and Life. Dershowitz has also worked as a weekly columnist for United Features Syndicate.

But that only begins to describe the amount of writing Dershowitz has accomplished. He is also a published author. His latest novel, The Advocate’s Devil, was published in 1994 by Warner Books. The New York Times Book Review praised the work as “exciting, fast-paced, entertaining–a thumbs-up verdict.” Other titles by Dershowitz include The Vanishing American Jew, The Best Defense, and Chutzpah.

Dershowitz is a professor at Harvard University and is among the nation’s best-known attorneys. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Dershowitz graduated from Brooklyn College as first in his class before going on to Yale Law School. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He was appointed to the Harvard law faculty at the age of 25, and became a full professor at age 28, the youngest in the school’s history. Since acquiring this position, his curriculum has included courses in criminal law, civil liberties and violence, legal ethics and human rights, and psychiatry and law. He has also lectured extensively throughout the country and around the world.

He received the William O. Douglas First Amendment Award in 1983 as well as the honorary doctor of law degrees from Yeshiva University, the Hebrew Union College, Monmouth College, and Haifa University. The New York Criminal Bar Association honored him for “outstanding contribution as a scholar and dedicated defender of human rights.”

Dershowitz currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter. On March 12, 1996, Simon & Schuster published Reasonable Doubts: The O.J. Simpson Case and the Criminal Justice System.

Western’s Chancellor’s Speaker Series is designed to bring notable figures to campus to discuss popular issues of the day, and to provide students with the opportunity to interact with people who are shaping and influencing our world.

Past speakers have included former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, nationally syndicated finance columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, and Emmy-nominated actor Danny Glover and fellow performer Felix Justice.