Roger S. Aaron '64, T '65 Distinguished Lecture on Ethics in Law and Business

Roger S. Aaron '64 a longtime partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom helped orchestrate some of the biggest mergers of the past several decades, notably the unions of Exxon and Mobil and Alcatel and Lucent. Throughout his career as a top adviser to the country's biggest corporations, including General Motors and Time Warner — Mr. Aaron cemented a reputation as a trusted adviser to blue-chip companies. Along the way, he built one of the industry's top merger practices.

Spring, 2025

2025 Roger S. Aaron '64 T'65 Lecture with Jamal Greene, "How Rights Went Wrong"

Jamal Greene 

is the Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Jamal Greene is a constitutional law expert whose scholarship focuses on the structure of legal and constitutional argument. He teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, First Amendment, and federal courts. 

Greene is the author of the book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights is Tearing America Apart (HMH, March 2021). He is also the author of numerous law review articles and has written in-depth about the Supreme Court, constitutional rights adjudication, and the constitutional theory of originalism, including "Rights as Trumps?" (Harvard Law Review foreword for the 2017–2018 Supreme Court term), "Rule Originalism" (Columbia Law Review, 2016), and "The Anticanon" (Harvard Law Review, 2011), an examination of Supreme Court cases now considered examples of weak constitutional analysis, such as Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson.

American Association of Publishers Prose Award Finalist | "Essential and fresh and vital . . . It is the argument of this important book that until Americans can reimagine rights, there is no path forward, and there is, especially, no way to get race right. No peace, no justice."—from the foreword by Jill Lepore, New York Times best-selling author of These Truths: A History of the United States

An eminent constitutional scholar reveals how our approach to rights is dividing America, and shows how we can build a better system of justice.

You have the right to remain silent—and the right to free speech. The right to worship, and to doubt. The right to be free from discrimination, and to hate. The right to life, and the right to own a gun. Rights are a sacred part of American identity. Yet they also are the source of some of our greatest divisions. We believe that holding a right means getting a judge to let us do whatever the right protects. And judges, for their part, seem unable to imagine two rights coexisting—reducing the law to winners and losers. The resulting system of legal absolutism distorts our law, debases our politics, and exacerbates our differences rather than helping to bridge them.

As renowned legal scholar Jamal Greene argues, we need a different approach—and in How Rights Went Wrong, he proposes one that the Founders would have approved. They preferred to leave rights to legislatures and juries, not judges, he explains. Only because of the Founders' original sin of racial discrimination—and subsequent missteps by the Supreme Court—did courts gain such outsized power over Americans' rights. In this paradigm-shifting account, Greene forces readers to rethink the relationship between constitutional law and political dysfunction and shows how we can recover America's original vision of rights, while updating them to confront the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Past Aaron Lectures

May, 2024

Roger S. Aaron '64 T'65 Lecture, Class Clueless: Healing the Diploma Divide to Find a Path Past Far Right Populism,Joan Williams, Sullivan Professor of Law, University of California


Joan Williams

Watch the lecture here with your Dartmouth ID.

Described as having "something approaching rock star status" in her field by The New York Times Magazine, Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century. Williams is a Sullivan Professor of Law, Hastings Foundation Chair, and Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Williams' path-breaking work helped create the field of work-family studies and modern workplace flexibility policies.

Williams' work on social class has influenced scholars, policymakers, and the press. It includes her prize-winning Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It (Oxford, 2000), Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter (Harvard, 2010), and widely read reports such as The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict (co-authored with Heather Boushey). Williams has played a central role in documenting how work-family conflict affects working-class families, through reports such as "One Sick Child Away From Being Fired" (2006) and "Improving Work-Life Fit in Hourly Jobs" (2011).

Williams' Harvard Business Review article, "What So Many People Don't Get About the U.S. Working Class" has been read over 3 million times and is now the most read article in HBR's 90-plus year history. In addition, Williams uses the findings of social science to create stable schedules for hourly workers and interrupt implicit bias at major U.S. companies.

May, 2023

2023 Roger S. Aaron Lecture, The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age, Danielle K. Citron


Danielle Citron

In case you missed it, watch here with your Dartmouth ID.

Danielle K. Citron is the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law and Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law at UVA, where she writes and teaches about privacy, free expression and civil rights. Her scholarship and advocacy have been recognized nationally and internationally. In 2019, Citron was named a MacArthur Fellow based on her work on cyberstalking and intimate privacy. In 2018, she received the UMD Champion of Excellence award and in 2015, the United Kingdom's Prospect Magazine named her one of the Top 50 World Thinkers and The Daily Record named her one of the Top 50 Most Influential Marylanders. She serves as the inaugural director of the school's LawTech Center, which focuses on pressing questions in law and technology.

Her latest book, "The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age" (W.W. Norton and Penguin Vintage UK), will be the focus of her lecture in May, 2023.

May, 2022

Technology that Reads Minds: Understanding the Ethical and Legal Implications of Artificial Intelligence, Nita Farahany '98


Nita Farahany '91

At the intersection of neuroscience and artificial intelligence lies a wealth of opportunity for business, labour, and society at large. Yet along with progress comes a host of ethical dilemmas. As a leading scholar and neuro-ethicist who has advised the United States Congress, NITA FARAHANY '98 considers what our neurological information is worth, and the  implications of making it available to corporations, workplaces, and government.

You're driving home after a long day, desperate to stay awake. Suddenly, a mild zap from your headrest bolts you upright, alert. You're safe—no caffeine required. This kind of revolutionary device is already in action, says Nita Farahany, and they're only getting more sophisticated. The Founding Director of Duke Science & Society, Chair of the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, and principal investigator of SLAPLAB, Farahany is at the forefront of the technology and ethics of wearable devices that use our biological and neurological data. Like devices that inform people with epilepsy when they're about to have a seizure, these "mind-reading" technologies will change everything from medicine, to marketing, to the processes of justice, to entertainment. The same zap that can save a drowsy driver can also be used in the workplace to increase safety measures; an EEG headset can tell businesses whether their customers reallylove what they're looking at—as IKEA did recently. With the possibility of us all becoming almost supernaturally legible, Farahany leads audiences on an optimistic, but cautionary, tour through the future of the technologies that can read our brain data as they would a Google Map, including how employers must build employee trust when adopting new technologies in the workplace. If we want to make the most of it, says Farahany, transparency is vital.

Farahany is a frequent commentator for national media and radio shows and has presented her work to audiences like the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, TED, the US Congress, and more. She is frequently cited by publications and programs like The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NPR, BBC, CBS News, and more. Farahany also appears in the documentary I Am Human, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. President Obama also appointed Farahany to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, where she served for seven years. She is the President-Elect and a  Board member of the International Neuroethics Society, and co-founder and co-editor-in-chief andof the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. Farahany received her AB in genetics, cell, and developmental biology at Dartmouth College, a JD and MA from Duke University, as well as a PhD in philosophy. She also holds an ALM in biology from Harvard University. Previously, Farahany was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School.

May, 2019

Preserving Democracy in the (Dis)information Age, Asha Rangapa


Asha Rangappa

Asha Rangappa is Director of admissions and a senior lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where she teaches National Security Law and related courses. Asha graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1996, and from Yale Law School in 2000. In between, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Bogota, Colombia, where she studied Colombian constitutional reform and its impact on U.S. drug policy in the region. Following law school Asha served as a law clerk for the Honorable Juan R. Torruella, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She then joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent, specializing in counterintelligence investigations in New York City from 2002 until 2005. Prior to joining Jackson, Asha was Associate Dean at Yale Law School.  Watch the lecture HERE with your Dartmouth ID.

2017, Richard Painter, Conflicts of Interest and the Constitution

Richard W. Painter is a Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He was the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration from 2005–2007.  He is the vice-chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Since January 2017, he has been involved in the CREW lawsuit against President Donald Trump (CREW v. Trump). The suit alleges that Trump is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause, due to his refusal to sell assets and put others in a blind trust.  Watch the lecture.

2017, Neal Katyal '91, Rule of Law and the Executive Branch

Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has extensive experience in matters of patent, securities, criminal, employment, and constitutional law. Neal has orally argued 28 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 26 of them in the last seven years. At the age of 46, he has already argued more cases in U.S. history than has any racial minority attorney with the exception of Thurgood Marshall. As Acting Solicitor General, Katyal was responsible for representing the federal government of the United States in all appellate matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals throughout the nation. Watch the lecture.

2015, Constitution Day Speaker, Akhil Reed Amar, The Law of our Land: America's Written and Unwritten Constitution

Akhil Reed Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. He is the author of several books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles, The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction, America's Constitution: A Biography, and most recently, America's Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By.  Sponsored by the Ethics Institute and co-sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences.  Watch the lecture.

2014, Inaugural Speaker, Ken Feinberg

Ken Feinberg is an American attorney, specializing in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. Feinberg was appointed Special Master of the U.S. government's September 11th Compensation Fund  and served as the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, popularly called the "pay czar." Feinberg recently served as the government-appointed administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund. Feinberg was appointed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to administer the One Fund—the victim assistance fund established in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Most recently, Feinberg was retained by General Motors to assist in their recall response. 

Watch an interview with Ken Feinberg.