Plenary Speakers

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
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.

Message from Conference Chair Brenda D. Gibson

SESW 2015 Conference Chair Brenda D. Gibson, Professor of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law

Mark your calendars! North Carolina Central University School of Law will host the 2015 SE/SW People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference on March 19-22, 2015, in Durham, North Carolina. The conference theme is “The Pipeline:   Preparing Prospective Students for Law School, Law Students for Law Practice, and the Next Generation of Law Professors.”

The 2015 conference will include thought-provoking and impactful discussions on legal education. We will have three tracks:  Pedagogy and Teaching, Professional Identity Formation, and Law Practice –Training and Mentorship.

Planning for the conference is well underway. And, as always, n addition, the conference will provide time to explore the city of Durham and the Research Triangle, as well as opportunities for colleagues and friends to reconnect. More details to come soon.

If you are interested in speaking on a panel or know of someone who would be, please contact me or the Executive Planning Committee members listed below. Questions can also be directed to any persons listed below. We hope to see you next year in Durham!

For General Conference Information:

Professor Brenda D. Gibson at

 For Program Inquiries:

Professor Teri McMurtry-Chubb at or Professor Monica Roudil at

Works in Progress Information:

Professor Lydia D. Johnson at

For the SE/SW Student Writing Competition Information:

Linh Dai at or Professor Victoria Taylor at

Hotels and Travel

Welcome to Raleigh/Durham

NCCU Law plans to provide transportation to shuttle guests during designated morning, afternoon, and evening drop-off times.


The primary conference hotel for SESWPOCC 2015 is the Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint (near Southpoint Mall). Click the hotel name below to reserve a room:

Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint

7007 Fayetteville Road

Durham, North Carolina, 27713


Hotel Lobby

Register for SESW 2015

2012 SESW POCC 003Register for SESW 2015 here or by clicking the button below.   North Carolina Central University students and guests may contact Prof. Jane Cross here for more information about discount codes.


As a non-profit organization, the SESW People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference greatly appreciates monetary as well in-kind donations. All conference sponsors will be recognized on the conference website and in the official conference program.  Please contact Professor Jane Cross, Conference Treasurer, if you would like to contribute to the 2015 conference.

1. Be a General Supporter

There are several levels of monetary sponsorship:

  • “Benefactor” with a contribution of $2,000 or more
  • “Patron” with a contribution of $1,500
  • “Supporter” with a $1,000 donation
  • “Friend” with a $500 donation

Your sponsorship will be publicly recognized and commended in the Conference program, on the Conference websites and during the Conference events.

2. Be a Student Writing Award Benefactor

We welcome donations in any amount to our Student Writing Competition awards. Your gift will be recognized at the conference, and you will receive an acknowledgement for your donation.

 3. Host a Break, Luncheon or Breakfast

Consider hosting a breakfast, luncheon, or coffee break. All conference attendees and presenters are invited to your sponsored meal, and your sponsorship will be recognized in our program and at the event.

4. Become an In-Kind Sponsor

The 2015 SESW Conference accepts in-kind goods. If you would like to advertise your company and/or the services your company provides, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so.

Student Writing Competition

Preparing Prospective Students for Law School, Law Students for Law Practice, and the Next Generation of Law Professors

2012 SESW POCC 060

The Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference sponsors a student writing competition each year that is open to all students enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school during the academic year. Typically, entries will be a scholarly paper fit for publication in a law review (20-page length minimum). The topic this year is Preparing Prospective Students for Law School, Law Students for Law Practice, and the Next Generation of Law Professors.

ELIGIBILITY: The competition is open to all students currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school during the 2014-2015 academic year. The student must be a current J.D. candidate.

FORMAT: Entries should be a scholarly piece fit for publication in a law review. Entries should follow standard footnote formatting, including Bluebook (19th or newer edition) citation form. All entries must be submitted in English. Each entry should be no less than 20 pages and no more than 25 single-sided double-spaced pages with one-inch margins and 12-point Times New Roman font. Entries containing endnotes or including appendices or supplemental material will not be considered. Published papers or papers already accepted for publication are ineligible. Each student may submit only one entry. Entries should be the sole work of the author and should not yet have undergone editing by others. Editing includes any significant revision as well as technical or substantive review of citations. Informal support, such as general comments on preliminary drafts, is permitted. All entries must be submitted electronically in either Word or PDF format. The student is responsible for confirming receipt of his/her submission. Technical errors on the student’s end will not be the basis for extending the submission deadline.

JUDGING: All competition papers will undergo a blind review process from the writing competition panel. Therefore, entrants should not include their name or the name of their school on the competition paper itself. Instead, participants must submit a cover page indicating their name, school, permanent address, and telephone number.

DEADLINE: December 19, 2015. Submit entries via email to or

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: Please contact Assistant Professor M. Victoria Taylor at or Linh K. Dai at


Information coming soon on our annual opportunity for scholars to present their works in progress (WIPs) and receive invaluable feedback on their articles from a reviewer and conference participants.  WIPs can address any topic or subject area and we encourage broad participation.  We look forward to receiving your WIP abstracts and thank you in advance for your participation and willingness to serve.  Please let us know if you have any questions and let others who might be interested know about this opportunity.