This fall, Texas Law’s Pipeline Beyond kicked off its Diverse Voices Speaker Series with guest speaker Carliss Chatman ’04. Professor Chatman, who teaches Corporate Law, Contracts, and Professional Responsibility at the Washington and Lee School of Law, presented on innovative solutions to shareholder recovery in derivative litigation. She also reflected on her experiences both at Texas Law and in her professional career.
“As an alum, it is always great being back on campus,” said Professor Chatman. “As a professor, I enjoy connecting with students to discuss scholarship and campus climate, so I spent as much time as possible connecting with students over coffee and meals. UT students are bright and engaging, and they made sure I felt welcome. The school has modernized, but still feels like home … and always will.”
“Welcoming Professor Chatman back to the law school was both an honor and a treat for our community,” said Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging and Lecturer Shavonne Henderson. “It is always wonderful to connect students and our community with alumni like her who are innovative in their approach to scholarship and teaching.”
The more than 20 students and faculty who attended the presentation found it immensely valuable. Valorie Marks ’24 remarked that it was “wonderful to meet a successful Black UT Law alumna with experience in big law, who now teaches the law in an area that only a handful of Black professors do nationwide.” Added Marks, “She gave me great practical advice for my career and emphasized the importance of never counting oneself out.”
Another attendee, Chiamaka Okoye ’24, enthused, “Prof. Chatman was a breath of fresh air. She is so relatable yet inspirational at the same time. We talked about everything from the Supreme Court docket to navigating a legal career as a Black woman. I am grateful I had the opportunity to learn from her.”
About the Diverse Voices Speaker Series
The Diverse Voices Speaker Series highlights scholars who represent communities historically excluded in the legal academy and brings distinguished speakers to Texas Law to share their experiences and insights with the whole law school community, including faculty, staff, and students. “It serves to connect us all with the great work of legal scholars and provide opportunities for our current students to connect with them more directly,” explained Henderson.
Our Next Speaker
The next speaker in the Diverse Voices series will be Professor Doris “Wendy” Greene. Scheduled to speak on Feb. 18, 2023, Prof. Greene is a trailblazing U.S. anti-discrimination law scholar and advocate who teaches at Drexel University Kline School of Law, where she also serves as the director of the Center for Law, Policy and Social Action (CLPSA). She has devoted her professional life’s work to advancing racial, color, and gender equity in workplaces. Her legal scholarship and public advocacy explore the constructions of identity that inform and constrain anti-discrimination law, and her work has generated civil rights protections throughout the United States.
About the Pipeline Program
The Pipeline Program is supported by founding sponsor Vinson and Elkins LLP and partner sponsor Greenberg Traurig LLP. The program is dedicated to supporting aspiring lawyers — students in high school, college, and law school – from underrepresented backgrounds. It includes initiatives and workshops tailored for students at each academic level. Pipeline Beyond programming for current law students is coordinated by Texas Law’s Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging.