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Mitchell Lecture Series

The Mitchell Lecture Series was endowed in 1950 by a gift from Lavinia A. Mitchell, in memory of her husband, James McCormick Mitchell. An 1897 graduate of the Buffalo Law School, Mitchell later served as chairman of the Council of the University of Buffalo, which was then a private university. Justice Robert H. Jackson delivered the first Mitchell Lecture in 1951, titled "Wartime Security and Liberty Under Law." The lecture was published that year in the first issue of the Buffalo Law Review.

Mitchell Lecture programs have brought many distinguished speakers to the SUNY Buffalo Law School. These have included Irene Khan, C. Edwin Baker, Derrick Bell, Barry Cushman, Carol Gilligan, Elizabeth Holtzman, Stewart Macaulay, Catharine McKinnon, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Richard Posner, and Clyde Summers.


The 2015 Mitchell Lecture featured three leading scholars on public policy questions that involve the new information technologies.

The intersection of two human impulses – play and profit – was at the center of an entertaining and informative Mitchell Lecture on Oct. 8 in O’Brian Hall.

The 2012 Mitchell Lecture explored the legal and social challenges of caring for the personal and medical needs of elderly and disabled persons – a topic of current relevance for health care, social security, welfare, and employment law reform.