Conference Chair’s Welcome to SESW 2015

brenda-gibsonWe welcome scholars, students, and community leaders to the 2015 SE/SW People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference at North Carolina Central University School of Law  on March 19-22, 2015, in Durham, North Carolina. You may review the program here: 2015 SESW POCC Program Grid. The program reflects the hard work of staff members, scholars, students, volunteers, and the SESW executive committee in  bringing the conference theme, “The Pipeline: Preparing Prospective Students for Law School, Law Students for Law Practice, and the Next Generation of Law Professors, ” to life. We are also delighted about our plenary speakers this year: Dean Carla Pratt  (Dickinson at Penn State) and Carlton Waterhouse (Indiana), who will contribute their thoughts on present and future of legal education. We will have three tracks:  Pedagogy and Teaching, Professional Identity Formation, and Law Practice –Training and Mentorship. Conference attendees will also have time to explore the city of Durham and the Research Triangle. We welcome you to Durham!

For General Conference Information:

Professor Brenda D. Gibson at

 For Program Inquiries:

Professor Teri McMurtry-Chubb at

 Works in Progress Information:

Professor Lydia D. Johnson at

Introducing Our 2015 Plenary Speakers

We welcome you to SESW 2015 at North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, NC on March 19-22, 2015. We are delighted to introduce the conference’s plenary speakers, Dean Carla Pratt and Professor Carlton Waterhouse, the opening and closing speakers, respectively.

Opening Plenary Speaker – Carla Pratt
Pratt Photo SESW 2015

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Educational Equity
Nancy J. LaMont Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, The Dickinson Schools of Law, Penn State
Link to Dean Pratt’s Bio 

Carla Pratt is the co-author of The End of the Pipeline: A Journey of Recognition for African Americans Entering the Profession of Law (with Dr. Dorothy Evensen) (2011). Dean Pratt’s research and writing reflects her interest in the intersection of race and the law with particular interest in the use of constitutional jurisprudence to achieve racial equality. She is particularly interested in the legal profession’s duty to ensure equal access to justice, and the role of law in constructing and maintaining racial identity. By exploring cognitive psychology, educational theory, and other social science literature, Dean Pratt believes that we can better understand how race operates to subordinate some groups in our society, and subsequently fashion appropriate remedies aimed at achieving racial equality. She shares the belief of former Supreme Court Justices Blackmun and Marshall, that in order to alleviate racial inequality in America, we must take account of race rather than ignore it.

Waterhouse Photo (SESW 2015)Closing Plenary Speaker – Carlton M. Waterhouse

Carlton M. Waterhouse
Professor of Law and Dean’s Fellow
Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Link to Professor Waterhouse’s Bio

Carlton Waterhouse has served at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law since 2010. He is nationally recognized for his work on environmental justice and is known internationally for his research and writing on reparations for historic injustices and state human rights violations. His views have been published in the Wall Street Journal online and his articles have appeared in prestigious law journals including the Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, the Fordham Environmental Law Review, and the Rutgers Law Review. He attended college at the Pennsylvania State University where he studied engineering and the ethics of technology before deciding to pursue a legal education. He is a graduate of Howard University School of Law, where he was admitted as one of its distinctive Merit Fellows. While in law school, he was selected for an internship with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law where he participated in the preliminary formation and development of the Civil Rights Act of 1992. Professor Waterhouse currently serves as a member of the Indiana Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission

After law school, he began his career as an attorney with the United States Environmental Protection Agency where he served in the Office of Regional Counsel in Atlanta, Georgia and the Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C. At the EPA, he served as the chief counsel for the agency in several significant cases and as a national and regional expert on environmental justice, earning three of the Agency’s prestigious national awards. His responsibilities at the EPA included enforcement actions under numerous environmental statutes, the development of regional and national policy on Environmental Justice and the application of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the EPA permitting actions. Following a successful nine-year career with the EPA, Professor Waterhouse enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Emory University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as one of the select George W. Woodruff Fellows. The previous year, he graduated with honors from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University with a Master of Theological Studies degree. In 2006, he graduated from Emory with a Ph.D. in Social Ethics.

In addition to teaching courses on property law, administrative law, and environmental law, Professor Waterhouse teaches race and law and environmental justice. Professor Waterhouse is the recipient of multiple student awards as a teacher and mentor. He conducts semiannual workshops for law students on exam taking to assist them in developing the skills that law faculty measure through their assessments. Professor Waterhouse is actively engaged in legal pipeline programs.  He regularly teaches mock trial classes to prelaw undergraduate students to help them learn about law school and he oversees the law school’s pipeline partnership with Shortridge Magnet School–a multifaceted program that exposes high school students to law as an educational and career option through law classes, mentoring, and coaching. In 2013, Professor Waterhouse served as an instructor for the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity (ICLEO), a pipeline program that helps college students in need pursue a law degree in Indiana.