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 2016 Mitchell Lecture
Legal education for a changing legal profession
On the occasion of the Law School’s 100th anniversary in 1987, the Mitchell Lecture addressed the topic “Legal Education for a Changing Legal Profession.” Former Stanford Law School dean Bayless Manning and a panel of distinguished commentators discussed what appeared to be fundamental changes in the character of law practice – for example, a shift, in Manning’s words, from law as a “learned profession” to law as a “learned business” – and the implications of these changes for law schools and legal education. [Read more]