Lectures & Conferences: 2014 - 2015


Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
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Personalized Medicine and Intellectual Property Conference

test tubes

Monday, August 25, 2014
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sumner M. Redstone Building, Room 101

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics that a human gene implicated in breast and ovarian cancer was not patentable subject matter. In Mayo v. Prometheus, the Court also recently ruled that a method for optimizing certain drug therapies was not patentable subject matter.

BU Law will host a conference to examine the potential impact of these rulings on medical research. The Kauffman Foundation will fund the conference, which will bring together legal, business, medical, and economic experts to discuss the impact of these cases, and generally the impact of patent and trade secret law on the incentives for innovation in the field of personalized medicine.

Speakers include:

This event is free and open to the public. To register, email

A live webcast of the conference will be available for those unable to attend in person. The link will be available here closer to the conference date.



Annual Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Heather K. Gerken

The Interlocking Gears of Rights and Structure: Why the Critics are Wrong About US v. Windsor

heather gerkenThursday, October 2, 2014
12:45 - 2 p.m.
Sumner M. Redstone Building

BU Law welcomes Heather K. Gerken, J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School, as our 2014 Annual Distinguished Lecturer.

While most academics have celebrated the result in United States v. Windsor, which struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, they’ve disliked the reasoning. As soon as the opinion was released, commentators immediately condemned Justice Kennedy as a muddle-head and started squabbling over whether Windsor was “really” a rights opinion or a federalism opinion.

Professor Gerken will argue that this rigid insistence on an either/or approach, however, misses the crucial truth undergirding Windsor: the ends of equality are served by both rights and structure. In the marriage equality debate—as with so many others—federalism and rights have served as interlocking gears moving us forward. Kennedy’s opinion might not have been a model of clarity, but at least it recognized that important fact. Windsor is neither an equality opinion nor a federalism opinion. It is both. And that is precisely as it should be. The lecture will be published in the Boston University Law Review.

Past Annual Distinguished Speakers include:

  • William N. Eskridge, Jr., Yale University
  • Martha Albertson Fineman, Emory University
  • Michael J. Sandel, Harvard University
  • Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University
  • Reva Siegel, Yale University
  • Dean Harold Koh, Yale Law School
  • Kathryn Abrams, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Judith Resnik, Yale Law School
  • John J. Donohue III, Yale Law School
  • Frank I. Michelman, Harvard University
  • John C. Coffee, Columbia University
  • G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University
  • Martha Minow, Harvard Law School
  • Michael J. Trebilcock, New York University Law School
  • Robert C. Post, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School
  • Saul Levmore, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Carol M. Rose, Yale Law School
  • Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago
  • Joseph Raz, Oxford University
  • Catherine A. MacKinnon, University of Michigan
  • Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago
  • Robert W. Gordon, Stanford University
  • Richard A. Posner, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals



Fundamentals of FInancial Service Compliance

October 20-22, 2014

The Graduate Banking & Financial Law Program is sponsoring this intensive 2-1/2 day program, which is designed to familiarize participants with the basics of financial services compliance. This includes the traditional concepts and development of financial services compliance structures and the new focus, heightened emphasis, and attention devoted to the compliance function by a range of financial services regulators in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

The course will include admission to the Industry Panel, a discussion by senior compliance officers from major institutions that are members of The Clearing House Association, a major financial services trade association headquartered in New York with significant policy, regulatory and transactional expertise.

For more information, please email



BU Law Review Book Symposium On War Powers and the Constitution

A Symposium on Steve Griffin's Long Wars and the Constitution & Mariah Zeisberg's War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority

Thursday, October 30, 2014
12:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Boston University School of Law is pleased to continue its series of symposia on significant recent books in law. The distinctive format is to pick two significant books that join issue on an important topic, to invite the author of each book to write an essay on the other book, and to invite several BU faculty to write an essay on one or both books. We then publish the pieces in the Boston University Law Review.

The symposium will pair Steve Griffin's book, Long Wars and the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2013) and Mariah Zeisberg's book, War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority (Princeton University Press, 2013).

Additional details will be posted as soon as they are available.


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at Fifty: Past, Present, and Future

martin luther king and lyndon johnsonFriday, November 14 - Saturday, November 15, 2014
George Sherman Student Union Building
775 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Event web page

This conference marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by bringing together a distinguished, interdisciplinary group of scholars to address fundamental questions about the past, present and future of this historic act. The conference will invite historical consideration of the relationship among social movements, activism and law reform.

Because the 1964 Act served as a template for subsequent civil rights laws, the conference will examine the evolution of prohibited classifications over time through amendments to the Act, judicial decisions and additional civil rights legislation. Speakers will address the problems that public agencies and private plaintiffs have confronted in proving discrimination under the 1964 Act and subsequent civil rights laws, and will consider contemporary challenges in addressing inequality.

The papers and proceedings will be published in Boston University Law Review.

For more information on the conference, please view the event web page or contact Professor Linda McClain.

This event is free and open to the public. To register, email



Annual Max M. Shapiro Lecture featuring Robert Khuzami ('83)

robert khuzamiFall 2014

Robert Khuzami ('83) will deliver the 2014 Max M. Shapiro Lecture. Mr. Khuzami served for four years (2009-13) as director of enforcement for the US Securities and Exchange Commission and is now a partner in Kirkland & Ellis LLP's Government & Internal Investigations Practice Group.

The Max M. Shapiro lecture, BU Law’s principle endowed lectureship, serves as a tribute to the memory of Max Shapiro (’33), a lawyer who devoted his career to examining the place of legal ethics in trial advocacy.

Additional details will be posted as soon as they are available.



Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare featuring Juan Zarate, Senior Adviser, Transnational Threats Project and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program

Juan ZarateSpring 2015

Over the past decade, America has quietly and successfully waged a new kind of war against the financial networks of terrorist groups, rogue regimes, proliferators, and criminal syndicates. Juan Zarate—a former senior Treasury and White House official—was part of the small group of officials who dedicated themselves to leveraging financial power and influence globally to undermine America’s enemies. The result was a dramatic redefinition of financial warfare and the role of the Treasury department—one that utilized all of Treasury's power, influence, and relationships to dismantle illicit financial networks, stop terrorism, and influence geopolitics.

While making use of all of the tactics that government had developed over centuries, from sanctions to quiet diplomacy, Zarate and his colleagues also partnered with the private sector, creating an international financial environment in which the banks’ and multinational companies’ bottom lines dovetailed directly with national security interests, with the goal of isolating rogues from the legitimate financial system. Their approach soon became—and remains—central in navigating all the critical geopolitical challenges facing the United States, including terrorism, proliferation, and rogue regimes in North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Treasury's War is the story of how these tactics were developed and brought to bear on some of the most dangerous and elusive criminal and rogue enterprises around the globe. Zarate gives us an insider’s view of one of the most potent yet least-examined strategies in the war on terror and American national security, and forecasts its future impact on our security and safety. It is a vitally important chapter in our nation’s history of warfare; one that, in many ways, is still being written. Zarate warns that other nations and organizations are beginning to learn these tactics. “The financial wars are coming,” he writes. “It is time to redesign a national economic security to prepare for them.”

Additional details will be posted as soon as they are available. This lecture is sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and the National Security Law Society.



bioIP 2015 Faculty Workshop: Call for Abstracts

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Sumner M. Redstone Building

The American Society for Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) is pleased to announce the first annual bioIP Faculty Workshop at Boston University School of Law.

The workshop will offer a unique opportunity for three junior scholars (in their first decade of teaching) to present their work in progress for in-depth critique and commentary by respected senior scholars in the field.

Topics for the workshop are at the intersection of biotechnology/life sciences/FDA and IP (hence, bioIP), broadly defined. A review committee will select papers for the workshop in a blind process. Papers should present an original thesis and contribute to scholarly literature. The workshop will not review published work.

Scholars with less than 10 years of teaching experience interested in having their papers reviewed should submit an abstract (up to 750 words) of the proposed paper (without identifying details) along with a CV to Ted Hutchinson, executive director of the ASMLE at by October 1, 2014. Selected abstracts will be announced later in Fall 2014 with the full draft papers due by April 1, 2015. The organizers will cover reasonable travel and lodging expenses. VAPs and fellows are eligible for the workshop.

The workshop committee consists of faculty from Boston University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

For questions, please email Kevin Outterson,


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