Esteemed legal scholar Jules Coleman to speak at Feb. 17 Inns of Court lecture

Dr. Jules Coleman

As part of a monthlong visit to the Stetson University College of Law campus, author, scholar of law, and Yale University Professor of Philosophy Jules Coleman will give the Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Distinguished Lecture at the College’s Annual Inns of Court event.

Dr. Jules Coleman is a prolific author who has written a dozen books and over 100 scholarly articles and peer-reviewed essays, including The Practice of Principle: In Defense of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory, based on his Inaugural Clarendon Lectures in Law at Oxford (published in 2001 by Oxford University Press). A former Wesley Newcomb Hohfield Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale University and Senior Vice Provost and Professor of Philosophy at NYU, Dr. Coleman is a thought leader in Higher Education committed to projects designed to reduce the disparity between the distribution of talent on the one hand and opportunity on the other. 

A Compelling Discussion

His Inns of Court address, which he will deliver at a hybrid event Feb. 17 from 5:00-6:00 p.m., is titled “What Can be Learned from Thoroughbred Horses & Trolley Carts.” It explores the intersection of the law and everyday ethical issues using examples taken from the Kentucky Derby and the storied “Trolley Problem” thought experiment.

“I strongly believe that many of the issues the law addresses occur in different forms in our ordinary experiences, and that the law stands to learn a good deal from the ways in which we have come to resolve these issues in non-legal contexts,” Coleman said.

Students, staff and faculty will be invited to attend the lecture in-person in the Great Hall (which is at limited capacity due to COVID-19 precautions), while others are invited to attend the event virtually.  

Inspiring Faculty & Students

As part of his visit to campus, Coleman will offer one-on-one scholarship mentoring to faculty and aims to inspire students to look to jurisprudence as a fundamental aspect of their future work.

Headshot of Professor Marco Jimenez
Professor Marco Jimenez

“I hope to spend significant amounts of time with the faculty to help them work through their current research projects, identify new projects and help them develop a strategy and a practice for completing research projects,” Coleman said. “I hope to meet with students and help them identify areas of the law they wish to study and in which they practice; and to help them learn the lesson that legal theory is a central element of first-rate legal practice.”

Given Coleman’s international reputation and his engaging speaking style, College of Law faculty members look forward to his visit, which will be the second time he has visited the campus.

“Dr. Jules Coleman’s visit should prove invigorating to faculty and students alike,” said Stetson Law Professor Marco Jimenez. “I, for one, am incredibly excited to welcome one of our nation’s premier legal scholars on our beautiful Stetson campus for the second time! “ During his visit, Coleman will also speak at the 43rd Annual National Conference on Law & Higher Education, which takes place March 2-7 at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach (see details and register).