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Senior Fellows Make an Impression

Three policy experts bring energy, ideas to campus during one-week residencies at the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy.

Photographs by Reba Saldanha

The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy last semester welcomed a trio of Senior Fellows in Residence, Brittny Saunders, Zephyr Teachout, and Lance Freeman (above, left to right). The Rappaport Senior fellowships were a new initiative to connect students and faculty with mid-career professionals.

Each Senior Fellow spent a week on campus sharing experiences and research in a variety of disciplines, including government, academia, the judiciary, and the nonprofit sector. During their time at BC Law, they each gave a lecture open to the community, co-taught a seminar with Professor Dan Kanstroom, and guest lectured in classes.

“Our main goal for this new Senior Fellows program was to enhance and complement our existing Rappaport Center programs with a diverse cohort of prominent thinkers and ‘doers’ who are engaged (in unique ways) with cutting-edge issues of law and public policy,” said Kanstroom, who is the faculty director of the Rappaport Center. “During their week-long residences, in their public presentations, and in the seminar I co-taught with each of them, I was struck by how incredibly thoughtful, engaging, and generous they all were. Our students, faculty, and broader community clearly learned a great deal from each of them and from the program as a whole.”

Saunders, deputy commissioner for strategic initiatives at the New York City Human Rights Commission and former interim counsel for Mayor Bill de Blasio, was in residence the week of September 23. She presented a lecture, “Building Infrastructure for Equity: Challenging Racism through Work in City Government,” in which she spoke about managing inter-agency partnerships and special projects related to data-driven discrimination and racial justice.

The following month, the Rappaport Center hosted Teachout, an author, associate professor at Fordham Law School, and former candidate for New York attorney general and governor. In addition to her BC Law classroom presentations and seminars, she lectured on “The Local Antitrust Moment: How State and Local Governments Can Lead the Charge on Renewing Democracy by Breaking up Corporate Monopolies.” Teachout specializes in the intersection of business law and public law, market structure and democracy, and prosecuting public corruption. She has written on corruption and been cited by the Supreme Court. She spent the week with BC Law students discussing state and local governments’ roles in making change in the antitrust era, and held a Lunch & Learn session with them to discuss her career path and to share tips for developing meaningful legal careers.

During his residency in November, Freeman, a professor in the Urban Planning program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, presented a speech titled “From Gilding the Ghetto to Gentrification: African Americans and Dispersal of the Ghetto.” Freeman’s scholarship addresses affordable housing, gentrification, and ethnic and racial stratification in housing markets. He was previously a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research and is a published author on topics such as neighborhood change and housing policy.