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2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture, ‘The Road to Full Equity in the United States of America’ Featuring the Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr.

Date: 6:00pm PST January 22 Location: Lewis & Clark Law School

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    The Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr.

Lewis & Clark Law School

About the speaker: 

The remarkable legal career of the Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr., Retired Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia has afforded him a direct role in the civil rights movement and legislative reform.

He graduated summa cum laude from Howard University and attended New York University Law School where he was a Founder’s Day Award recipient and served as Associate Research Editor of the Law Review, graduating in the top 10% of his class from in 1958.

In 1963, he served as a liaison for Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He kept the Attorney General advised of developments in Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Movement and was awarded the Sustained Superior Performance Award for that work.

In 1969, he was appointed the first African American U.S. Magistrate – a position renamed by Congress as “United States Magistrate Judge” – and served in this position until 1975.

In 1978, as Legal Advisor for the United States Civil Service System, he served as a principal legal advisor to the President of the United States. Judge Burnett had a direct role in crafting and securing passage of the Civil Service Reform Act, and received the Distinguished Civil Service Award for that work.

Beyond his active role in civil rights, Judge Burnett is recognized as an expert in drug laws and policies and their application in the criminal and juvenile justice system and mental health treatment. He has served a number of non-profit organizations focused on these issues, including as Judge-in-Residence to the Children’s Defense Fund and Co-Chair of its Judges’ program; as National Executive Director of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.; as a Member of the District of Columbia Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys; and as Adjunct Law Professor in Trial Advocacy at Howard University School of Law.

The American Bar Association acknowledged Judge Burnett as a WAYMAKER in 2009 for the key role he played in civil rights history and for his exemplary judicial performance.


About the Lecture Series:

Each year Lewis & Clark Law School hosts an endowed lecture series honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., made by a generous grant from Jacqueline Alexander and Lee Matthews. The mission is to bring internationally recognized legal scholars, practitioners, jurists and civil rights leaders to Lewis & Clark to present a lecture to our law school community on issues of diversity, race relations, tolerance, and equal rights. 


Event Details:

When: Monday, January 22, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. PDT

Where: Lewis & Clark Law School, room TBD

RSVP: Please RSVP here

Contact: For more information, please contact Kerry Rowand at 503-768-6912 or



What are my transportation options for getting to this event?

Limited designated parking will be available on campus.  Public transportation is encouraged.

What is the dress code?

The dress code is business casual/business standard.


This program has applied for one General MCLE Credit through the Oregon State Bar.



Event Cost

Free and open to the public
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