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Edward V. Sparer Symposium

The Sparer Symposium commemorates the life and work of the late Edward V. Sparer, Professor of Law and Social Policy. The 36th Annual Sparer Symposium will be held on Friday, January 13, 2017. 


8:30 AM

Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks

9:15 AM

Behind the Curtain: Examining the Impact of Voter Disenfranchisement in the 2016 Election
(1.0 ethics/.5 substantive)

David Daley - Author, Ratf**ked

Seth Kreimer - Kenneth W. Gemmill Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Nina Perales - Vice President of Litigation, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)

Caitlin Swain - Civil Rights Attorney, Forward Justice 

10:45 AM

Law and Disorder: What Does Criminal Justice Reform Look Like Now?
(1.5 ethics)

Angela Davis - Professor of Law, American University Washington College

John Hollway - Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Alec Karakatsanis - Founder and Executive Director, Civil Rights Corps

John Malcolm - Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and the Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow

Jo-Ann Wallace, President and CEO of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)

12:15 PM

Lunch Pick-Up

12:30-1:30 PM

Keynote Address
(1.0 substantive)
Beth Donovan, Senior Washington Editor for NPR News

1:45 PM

National Security at What Cost? Evaluating the New Administration’s Proposed Policies
(1.5 substantive)

Eleanor Acer - Senior Director, Refugee Protection Program of Human Rights First

Jasmine M. El-Gamal - Senior Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security

Andrew Kim - Founder, RISE When We Fall

Leigh O’Neill - Managing Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Truman National Security Project

3:15 PM

Whose Voice is it Anyway? The Influence of Campaign Finance on Party Politics
(1.5 substantive)

Jason Abel - Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson

Rebecca Ballhaus - Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Kedric Payne – Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Ian Vandewalker - Counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program

4:45 PM


Registration for the 2017 Sparer Symposium has closed as we have reached capacity. Please email Hillary Wiesel ( if you have any questions.

This program has been approved for 7.0 total CLE credits (4.5 substantive, 2.5 ethics) for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $280.00 ($70.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.