Submitted by Emanuel Costache

April 16, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—David Wilkins, Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and director of both its Program on the Legal Profession (PLP) and Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry, and Damon Hart, partner at the Holland & Knight law firm, will discuss the tensions, challenges and opportunities African-Americans face as they enter the legal profession on Wednesday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Babbott Room of Amherst College’s Octagon. Titled “The New Social Engineers? The Relevance of Charles Hamilton Houston’s Legacy for the Black Corporate Bar,” the forum is free and open to the public.

In addition to his positions at Harvard Law School, Wilkins also serves as a visiting senior research fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. He has written over 50 articles on the legal profession in leading scholarly journals and the popular press, and is the co-author (along with his Harvard Law School colleague Andrew Kaufman) of one of the leading casebooks in the field. His current scholarly projects on the profession include “After the JD,” a ten-year nationwide longitudinal study of lawyers’ careers, and the PLP’s “Corporate Purchasing Project,” a quantitative and qualitative examination of how corporations purchase legal services. He also instructs at the PLP’s Executive Education course. 

Hart practices in the area of commercial litigation—with particular focus on technology, intellectual property and labor and employment—and provides business advice to clients on contract, real estate and development matters. He also counsels a number of non-profits in their unique business and organizational challenges, and has represented a number of churches and other religious organizations, gaining significant experience in constitutional issues, intra-denominational disputes, non-profit administration and tax issues. On April 8, Hart was elected president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA), New England’s premier minority bar organization, after having served as its president-elect for the 2007 term and treasurer in 2006.

The event is supported by the Charles Hamilton Houston Forum.