On September 29, 2023, Hurwitz Fine Member and ABOTA President Michael F. Perley organized the Ninth James Otis Lecture at the Robert H. Jackson Courthouse, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. The event served to educate Buffalo high school students on the topic of Race, Justice & Public Education and how America can fulfill its promise of equal opportunity in today's environment.
Hon. Lawrence J. Vilardo opened his courtroom to WNY high school students from Hutchinson Central Technical High School, the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, the Emerson School of Hospitality, and Buffalo Seminary. The opening remarks were made by Hon. Lawrence J. Vilardo, before Paul Linden Retek, Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo Law School discussed Race, Justice and the Project of Public Education. Kapil Longani, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel for the State University of New York, then discussed educational opportunities after the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard and the future of diversity in the SUNY system.
The James Otis Lecture, sponsored by the Buffalo Chapter of ABOTA, seeks to present timely legal topics to WNY high schoolers, and opens the floor up to questions from students. Area high school students are given the opportunity to attend the lecture at Federal Court, and have lunch with area judges and other dignitaries after the session, to discuss the U.S. legal system and constitutional rights.