Sarah Shebek
School of Law

Missouri appellate judge keynote speaker for Thurgood Marshall Law Day

Mon, 02/18/2013

LAWRENCE — Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court justice, and this year’s Thurgood Marshall Law Day at the University of Kansas School of Law will feature another legal trailblazer – the first African American woman to serve as an appellate judge in Missouri.

The annual event, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22, will feature Judge Lisa White Hardwick as the keynote speaker. Hardwick has served on the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District since 2001. She recently completed a two-year term as chief judge and has authored more than 600 opinions while on the court. Hardwick received her law degree from Harvard and will speak about the importance of using a legal education to fight injustice wherever it is found.

“The battlefield for civil rights has expanded far beyond the struggle for racial and gender equality,” she said. “Lawyers should be equipped to deal with disparities in health, wealth, education, and social justice for all Americans.”

Thurgood Marshall Law Day, sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, brings diverse high school students to the KU School of Law to gain exposure to the legal system, law school and the legal profession, and to learn about Thurgood Marshall’s legacy. Hardwick is no stranger to mentoring young people, having made presentations at more than 35 schools during her tenure. She also offers a shadowing program that allows students to spend time with her in the courtroom.

“I believe it is helpful for students to see that women and people of color have tremendous opportunities to make a difference in the legal profession,” she said.

KU Law Professor Quinton Lucas will also address the students about the rights they have in school and the opportunities that they will have when they attend college. A discussion with members of the Black Law Students Association and the KU Law Student Ambassadors and an optional tour of the law school will round out the event.  

“Really what I want to do is show them a world of possibilities on KU’s campus – possibilities that start when they come out to college,” Lucas said.

Born in 1908, Thurgood Marshall graduated magna cum laude from Howard University Law School after first being denied admission to the University of Maryland School of Law because of its segregation policies. Marshall went on to successfully argue in Brown v. Board of Education and served as chief counsel of the NAACP. In 1961, he reached a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit before eventually gaining an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he spent 24 years.

The Black Law Students Association is an active participant in the law school community, coordinating many outreach events throughout the year. Its Thanksgiving Food Drive annually feeds hundreds of local families through food and monetary donations that BLSA members solicit from students, faculty and staff. In the spring, BLSA either hosts or supports the annual Diversity in Law Banquet, and the organization also spearheads fundraising activities for professional development and community outreach.

The University of Kansas School of Law has admitted women and students of color since its inception in 1878.

Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Let's take a trip down to Coronado & #exploreKU at the pool with @KUSwimDive ! (and insta Go_Pro_Guys)
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

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