OU Law Welcomes Leading Voice on Criminal Justice Reform

March 14, 2016 | By Mackenzie Dilbeck, Director of Communications

Media Contact: 
Mackenzie A. Dilbeck
(405) 325-2227

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma College of Law will welcome MacArthur Foundation Fellow Jonathan Rapping Thursday, March 31. The “Genius Grant” award winner will give a public lecture at noon in the OU College of Law’s Kerr Student Lounge. 

Rapping’s talk, titled “Creating a New Criminal Justice Narrative: The Role of Public Defenders in Driving Reform,” will draw on his groundbreaking work as president and founder of Gideon’s Promise, for which he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, also known as a “Genius Grant,” in 2014. Gideon’s Promise trains, mentors and motivates public defenders all across the country, including most recently all those in the state of Maryland. Both Rapping and the organization are featured in the award-winning HBO Films documentary, Gideon’s Army

“Professor Rapping’s is a preeminent voice in the reform of indigent criminal defense,” said OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “These are issues important to our students’ professional development, our graduates are facing as members of the bar and all of us are pondering as an educated citizenry. OU Law is thrilled to welcome him as a guest lecturer.”

Rapping is a nationally recognized expert on criminal justice reform. In addition to his work with Gideon’s Promise, he is professor of law and director of the Honors Program in Criminal Justice at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and is a visiting professor of law at Harvard University. Before joining Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Rapping was the training director for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, for the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council and for the Orleans Public Defenders office where he played a pivotal role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Rapping earned his J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law, a M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty, staff and members of the public. For reservations or more information, including accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact lawevents@ou.edu.

Thank you for your interest in applying to OU Law

Please select your program of interest to learn more about the application process.

J.D. ProgramM.L.S. ProgramLL.M. ProgramLegal Assistant Education Not sure? Learn more about admissions at OU Law