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Annual Lectures

McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion

The McElroy Lecture on Law and Religion provides a forum for prominent thinkers and leaders to address fundamental issues of law, religion and society. It seeks to educate students, legal professionals and the wider public on a variety of questions related to moral philosophy, freedom of conscience, the interaction of legal and religious institutions and the role of religion in public life. 

Late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was the first to give the McElroy lecture in 1995. Since then, other notable lecturers have included Intisar A. Rabb, Cardinal Adam Maida, Hon. John T. Noonan, Jr., and Nelson Tebbe.

The annual lecture is made possible through a gift from the estate of Detroit Mercy Law alumnus Philip J. McElroy.

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Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture on Social Justice

Launched in 2018, the Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture on Social Justice provides prominent leaders in the legal profession a forum to address issues on law and policy related to social justice. It is made possible through a grant from the Dewitt C. Holbrook Memorial Trust.

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    2018: "Chokehold: Policing Black Men" - Professor Paul Butler, Georgetown University School of Law

    Georgetown University Law Professor Paul Butler, whose book Chokehold: Policing Black Men was named a Notable Book in 2017 by the Washington Post, was the inaugural speaker in the University’s Dewitt C. Holbrook Lecture on Social Justice series. Butler is one of the nation’s most frequently consulted scholars on issues of race and criminal justice. In his lecture, he will explore issues of racism and police violence, and discuss the critical need for reform in the U.S. criminal justice system.

    Butler researches and teaches in the areas of criminal law, race relations law and critical theory. His research has been published in many leading scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journalthe Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review and the UCLA Law Review.  He is the author of the widely praised book Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, which received the Harry Chapin Media award. His scholarship has been the subject of much attention in the academic and mainstream media. His work has been profiled on “60 Minutes,” “Nightline,” and the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news, among other places.

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