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UF gets Supreme Court visitor

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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 1:04 am

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will speak at UF’s Levin College of Law Friday.

The event is part of the Marshall M. Criser Distinguished Lecture in Law Series, an ongoing opportunity that gives UF law students a chance to talk with prestigious speakers in their field of work. Thomas will speak at 10 a.m. in the Marcia Whitney Schott Courtyard. Free tickets are available for UF law students, faculty and staff, but not the public.

“The opportunity for a law student to interact with a Supreme Court justice is very special,” said Dean Robert Jerry. “To engage a justice is an opportunity to get insights into the workings of the highest court in our nation. This deepens our students’ education.”

They can accommodate about 500 people, Jerry said. With about 1,000 students enrolled at the law school, he said event attendance had to be rationed. Tickets to Thomas’ discussion will be distributed through the law school’s Office of Student Affairs.

Thomas did not accept payment to speak at UF, Jerry said.

He said Thomas spoke at UF once before, in 2010, and the law school is honored to host him again. Though the event will be a similar informal discussion, the audience is expected to be an entirely new group of students.

Four law students were selected through an application process to moderate the event. Third-year students Eric Netcher, Zack Smith and David Maass and first-year student Lauren Humphries will interview Thomas about working in law.

“It’s a really cool opportunity to experience the Supreme Court at an interpersonal level,” said second-year law student Jessie Ervolino, 23. “Interacting with the justice really humanizes the Court for the students.”

Welcome to the discussion.