by Karen Foreit
The next time you visit the Saturday UDC Van Ness farmers market, take a peek through the glass doors to UDC Law. This treasure in the heart of Forest Hills does more than prepare its students (who provide more than 100,000 hours of hands-on legal services every year to under-served DC residents) for law careers. It offers a calendar of stellar events, many free and open to the public.
On the evening of Thursday, October 24, I attended the 27th Annual Rauh Lecture at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. The lecture is named for Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. – a staunch supporter of UDC Law and posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honor. Previous speakers include Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2001) and Sonia Sotomayor (2012); Senators Patrick Leahy, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker; members of Congress including DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Lewis, and Barney Frank; and other notable public figures. These are always free and open to the public.
This year’s Rauh Lecturer was Richard L. Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO (watch the video). He was introduced by leading DC lawyer Joseph “Chip” Yablonski. Both spoke of the importance of organized labor in today’s political environment, and of their deep personal and professional ties to Joe Rauh. Among his many important endeavors, Rauh was a principal adviser to the United Mine Workers. In 1968, on New Year’s Eve, Chip’s father Jock Yablonski was murdered along with his wife and daughter on orders from UMW leader Tony Boyle. Joe Rauh personally drove Chip and his family from DC to the family home in Clarksville, Pennsylvania and then worked to ensure justice in the ensuing murder trials and the Miners for Democracy press to overturn Boyle’s 1969 election.
And if you’d like to take a deeper dive without actually pursuing a degree, consider auditing a class. Schedules, course descriptions and audit permission forms are posted on the Registrar’s page. You don’t need to be a registered student as long as there is room in the class and the professor and dean agree.
Karen Foreit grew up in Cabin John; she and her husband Jim have lived in Forest Hills since 1995. They are committed to environmental protection of the community and participate in the RiverSmart initiative to reduce storm water runoff into Rock Creek, the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Karen also audits UDC Law School classes in her spare time.