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A ‘Conversation With …’ series celebrates 10 years

Wake Forest University School of Law welcomes Professor Hassan El Menyawi, the International Law and Human Rights Visiting Professor at the United Nations University for Peace, as the fall semester’s “Conversation With …” speaker.

The “Conversation With …” Professor El Menyawi also represents the 10th anniversary of the speaker series, which brings distinguished lawyers to campus for a unique conversation about their lives in the law. As part of the event, students get to hear interesting details about the speaker’s life and career and ask questions. In recent years, the series has featured several prominent figures including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

This academic year’s “Conversation With …” series kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at noon in Room 1312 of the Worrell Professional Center. The event is open to the law school community.
The discussion will be moderated by Professor Richard Schneider. A light lunch will be provided (please bring your own drink).

El Menyawi is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School in Australia. Prior to his current appointments, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Political Science at Davidson College and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Professor El Menyawi was born in Egypt and is a scholar of Islam as well as an expert on Islamic law. His main interest has been working on finding ways to reconcile human rights – particularly women’s rights and gay rights – with Islamic law. As a result of his work, the Egyptian authorities imprisoned, tortured, and exiled him from Egypt. Professor El Menyawi then migrated to Canada, where he obtained LL.B. (common law), B.C.L (civil law), and LL.M (international law) degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in sociology from New York University and he is a senior fellow at Melbourne Law School.

His main areas of interest include gender human rights, international law, and Islamic legal theory and jurisprudence. He has co-founded the journal, Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, which explores possible linkages between human rights and Islamic Law. He has provided consulting to human rights non-governmental organizations in the Middle East and around the world. He was also the founder and head of the HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Project at the United Nations University.



Howard Twiggs, alumnus, trial lawyer and ATLA president and lawyer of the year

Barabara Arnwine, Chair, Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, Public Interest Lawyer


Clarence Horton, Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Family Law specialty

Ben Tenille, Judge, North Carolina Business Court, Corporate Law

Professor Butch Covington


Robert Ehrlich, alumnus, Minority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives, Maryland Congressman and Governor of Maryland

Annie Brown Kennedy,  pioneer African-American woman and Winston-Salem attorney, member North Carolina Legislature

Norman Veasey, Chief Justice, Delaware Supreme Court, Ethics expert

Professor Charley Rose


Robert Merhige, retired Federal District Court Judge (Virginia}and Civil Rights School Desegregation cases

Gary Way, Sports Law, Senior Sports Marketing Counsel for Nike

Professor Rhoda Billings


Anthony Lewis, Columnist, New York Times, Author, Gideon’s Trumpet

Daniel O’Toole, Alumnus, Captain, Navy JAG, Executive Assistant and Special Counsel to the Navy General Counsel

Rosie Abella, Justice, Court of Appeals, Ontario, Canada, Woman’s Issues

Professor Bobby Chesney


Oliver Hill, Civil Rights Leader, Recipient:  American Bar Association medal, Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Bonnie Brier, General Counsel, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, member, American Law Institute

Professor Ron Wright


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice, United States Attorney, Judge, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Advocate for Women’s Rights

Afschineh Latifi, alumnus, Intellectual Property Attorney in New York City

Professor Tim Davis


Chris Swecker, former Assistant Director of FBI

John Edwards, former U.S. Senator of North Carolina and presidential candidate 2004, 2008

Steve Nickles, Wake Forest University Law School Professor


Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief International and former

Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of

Peace Corps

Charles Ogletree, Harvard University Law School Professor, Author

Blake Morant, Dean of Wake Forest University School of Law


Gill Beck, Assistant U.S. Attorney on Board of Governors on N.C. Bar Association

Judy Lambeth, Executive Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary of Reynolds American Inc.

Jennifer Collins, Wake Forest University Law School Professor