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Archive for Thursday, August 28, 2003

First female A.G. to speak at KU

August 28, 2003

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Janet Reno, U.S. attorney general in the Clinton administration, will speak next month in Lawrence.

Reno will be in town Sept. 23 to meet with students at the Kansas University law school and to participate in a public question-and-answer session that evening at the Lied Center.

"It's not often you get an eight-year attorney general in your class," Law Dean Steve McAllister said. "She should be pretty free-wheeling. She's not a public official of any type now."

Reno was the nation's first female attorney general. She served from 1993 to 2001, the longest term this century.

Reno will come to Lawrence as part of the Stephenson Lecture in Law and Government series at KU. She'll speak to three law school classes, have lunch with law faculty and speak at 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center.

The evening event will be free, though tickets are required. Vouchers can be picked up at the Student Union Activities box office in the Kansas Union or at the Lied Center.

Jennifer Colaner, event coordinator for the law school, said the school would have a limited number of "will call" tickets available for reserve for people driving to Lawrence from out of town. Those can be reserved by calling 864-4550 and must be picked up by 7:15 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Lied Center.

McAllister said he expected Reno to discuss a wide spectrum of issues while in town.

"I told my class it's wide open in terms of what can be discussed," he said. "She's a great profile in terms of eight years as attorney general. She's a prominent female attorney, so she's a good person to bring in as a role model. And she's a high-level Democrat."

While in office, Reno was criticized on such issues as the Justice Department's handling of the 1993 siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, and for its handling of the 1999 situation involving Elian Gonzalez, the boy living in Miami who was ordered returned to his father in Cuba.

After leaving the Department of Justice, Reno ran for governor of Florida in 2002. She lost in the primary and now is a frequent lecturer.

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