Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Harvard Law School to Present Elder Dallin H. Oaks

The Mormonism 101 Series Presents Elder Dallin Oaks -- Feb 26 at 5:00 pm

The Harvard Law School Latter-day Saint Students Organization is pleased to announce this year’s edition of the annual Mormonism 101 Series. Each year, the Mormonism 101 Series brings a prominent Latter-day Saint member of the legal or academic community to discuss the basic tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and answer any questions that students or others have about the church. This year Harvard is especially proud to present Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the LDS Church’s highest governing body!

Apart from his prominent position in the church, Dallin Oaks has had a remarkably distinguished legal career, beginning at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Law Review.  After law school, he served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the United States Supreme Court and then worked as an attorney for Kirkland & Ellis.  He then went on to teach at Chicago Law School for over a decade, serving for a time as interim dean. His tenure at the University of Chicago Law School ended when he was made president of Brigham Young University, where he also served for a decade.  This position, in turn, gave way to an appointment to the Utah Supreme Court, where he served as a justice throughout the early 1980s.  During this time, he was also chairman of the board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  He resigned from the Utah Supreme Court when he was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a position he still holds.

The value of this opportunity to hear Elder Oaks speak, and to ask questions about the Mormon faith from one who can speak on behalf of the Church (and not just as a member of the faith) cannot be overstated.  Moreover, Elder Oaks’s legal accomplishments are virtually unparalleled.  In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court called his scholarly work “the most comprehensive study on the exclusionary rule” and in both 1976 and 1981, he was on the short list of potential nominees to the United States Supreme Court.

Hopefully someone who attends this event can share with us what they learn.


  1. I'm such a HUGE fan of Dallin Oaks!!! I feel like just hearing him speak would make a lot of people want to become Mormons. At least, I know that, for me, when people make prejudiced comments to me about the church (you know the kind I'm talking about!) I often refer them to talks he's given--most notably, recently, on the equal marriage debate. He makes me proud to be a Mormon.

  2. I heard it's going to be taped and shown between sessions of general conference.

  3. As president of the Harvard Law Latter-day Saints Student Organization and organizer of the event, I am happy to answer any questions and provide an ex post synopsis of the event for those interested. The school newspaper (http://www.hlrecord.org/) and the Church News are both covering it as well. You may contact me (Ben Geslison) at bgeslison@jd10.law.harvard.edu

  4. Is there an online video (or transcript) of this address (in its entirety) that includes Q&A from the audience?