Roy R. Ray Lecture Series

Roy R. Ray Lecture Series

Established: 1970


The Roy R. Ray Lecture Series was established through an endowment funded by the late Professor Roy Robert Ray.  Previous lectures have included: Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times; Lawrence Lokken, Hugh Culverhouse Eminent Scholar in Taxation and Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida Levin College of Law; Helen M. Hubbard, former Tax Legislative Counsel for the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Roy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Centre College and his law degree with distinction from the University of Kentucky. He was appointed Research Fellow at the University of Michigan and received the degree of Doctor of Judicial Science.

Professor Ray joined the SMU law faculty in 1929; four years after the law school opened its doors.  While at SMU, he established and served as the Director of the Academy of American Law program in the law school from 1955 to 1959.  During the spring of 1966, Professor Ray was a Fulbright Exchange Professor at the Graduate School of Law at Seoul National University in Korea.  Following his retirement in 1967, he continued to teach full time as professor emeritus for three more years.  In total, and except for temporary visits and leave during the war, Professor Ray served the law school and university for 41 years.

Professor Ray is well-known for his significant contribution to the literature in torts and evidence.  However, perhaps his most enduring legacy is the treatise on the Texas Law of Evidence, first co-authored with Dean Charles T. McCormick of the University of Texas at Austin, and a second edition with Professor William F. Young of the University of Texas at Austin.


April 12, 2017

- Professor Frederick Schauer, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia Law
- "Freedom of Speech and the Problem of Group Knowledge"

February 22, 2016

- Civil Rights Attorney Constance L. Rice
- "The Role Lawyers Play in Addressing and Alleviating Racial Tensions and Injustices:
- Sponsored by BLSA (Black Law Students Association)

April 28, 2014

- Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School and
Lackland H. Bloom, Jr., Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law
- "A Dialogue on Constitutional Law and Interpretation with Professors Alan M. Dershowitz and Lackland H. Bloom, Jr"

October 23, 2013

- Jack Ford - CBS News Legal Analyst , Co-Founder, Chief Editor and Anchor of the American Education Television Networks, and Contributor to 60 Minutes Sports
- “Media Coverage of High Profile Trials”

March 29, 2012

- Judith Resnik – Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Dennis Curtis – Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law, Yale Law School
- “Images of Justice”

September 13, 2012
- Timothy S. Jost – Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law, Washington & Lee University School of Law
- “The American Health Care System:  Three Histories and Three Possible Futures?"

November 2009

- Charles Donahue  - Paul A. Freund Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
- “What Happened in the English Legal System in the Fourteenth Century and Why Would Anyone Want to Know?”

March 25, 2008

- Steven L. Schwarcz – Stanley A. Star Professor of Law and Business, Duke University School of Law
- “Markets, Systemic Risk, and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis”

April 4, 2006

- Geoffrey R. Stone – Harry Kalven, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
- “Civil Liberties in War Times”

February 22, 2005

- Helen M. Hubbard ‘87 – The Tax Legislative Counsel in the Office of Tax Policy of the Department of the Treasury
- “Thoughts on the Universal Question of Taxpayers, Tax Students and Tax Lawyers:  ‘Why is this so complicated?’”

October 11-12, 2005
- William E. “Bill” Nelson – Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
- “Government by Judiciary:  The Rise of Judicial Power in Colonial Pennsylvania”

March 20, 2003

- Linda Greenhouse – Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist & Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times
- “Because we are Final:  Judicial Review 200 Years After Marbury”

October 9, 2003
- E. Donald Elliott – Former Assistant Administrator and General Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency and head of the Environmental Division at Wilkie Farr and Gallagher
- “Reforming Environmental Regulation:  From Art to Science”

October 2003
- Larry Lokken – Hugh F. Culverhouse Eminent Scholar Chair in Taxation,  University of Florida Levin College of Law
- “How the Federal Income Tax is Becoming Something Else:  A Tax on Consumption”

February 7, 2002

- ABA Conference on “Terrorism’s Burdens to Globalization” (The second in the 3-part terrorism series)
- 27 leaders in law, business and government – full day of public discussion of the globalization issues caused by terrorism

November 9, 2000

- Stanley Sporkin, former judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- “Justice:  Whatever Happened to It?”

March 30, 1999

- Paul D. Carrington – Harry R. Chadwick Sr. Professor, Duke University School of Law
- “Judicial Independence and Democratic Accountability in Highest State Courts”
April 1999
- William E. “Bill” Nelson – Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
- “Ethnic Mobility and the Law of Fiduciary Duty in 20th Century New York”

November 12, 1999
- Lecture Topic – “XML and the Legal Foundations for Electronic Commerce”
- Robert J. Glushko – Director of Advanced Technology, CommerceOne
- Presentation Title - “How XML Enables Internet Trading Communities and Marketplaces”

March 1998

- Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr. – Trustee Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Director, American Law Institute
- “The Courthouse no Longer Looms Over the City Square”

March 27, 1997

- Honorable Robert Henry – United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit – Oklahoma City, OK
- “Pawning the Crown Jewels?:  Some Thoughts on the Independence of the Judiciary”

March 5, 1996

- First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
- “The Importance of Legal Services in Our Communities”

January 24, 1995

- Honorable Alex Kozinski – United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit – Pasadena, California
- “Death:  The Ultimate Run-On Sentence”

March 3, 1994

- Harold Hongju Koh – Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School
- “Democracy and Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy?”

February 25, 1993

- Melvin A. Eisenberg – Koret Professor of Law, University of California School of Law, Berkeley, CA
- “Expression Rules in Contract Law”

March 24, 1992

- Stephen Carter – William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- “The Separation of Church and Self”

March 1989

- Judge William Wayne Justice – Chief Judge, Eastern District of Texas
- “The New Awakening:  Judicial Activism in a Conservative Age”

September 1989
- A. E. Dick Howard – Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- “The Supreme Court from Warren to Rehnquist”

March 1988

- E. Allan Farnsworth – Alfred McCormack Professor of Law, Columbia University
- “Confessions of an American Opions Clipper:  Casebooks as Scholarship”

March 1987

- Clyde W. Summers – Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- “Job Security and Comparative Perspective, or the Right to Work from Texas to Timbuktu”

March 1986

- G. Edward White – Professor of Law and History, University of Virginia
- “From Realism to Critical Legal Studies:  A Truncated Intellectual Study”

March 1985

- James O. Freedman – President, University of Iowa
- “Liberal Education and the Legal Profession”

February 1984

- John S. Kaplan – Jeackson Eli Reynolds Professor, Stanford Law School
- “Can Capital Punishment Be Efficient”

February 1983

- Patrick S. Ateyah – Professor of English Law, St. John’s College – Oxford, England
- “Lawyers and Rules:  Some Anglo-American Comparison”

March 1982

- J. Shirley Abrahamson – Associate Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
- “The Reincarnation of State Courts”

April 1981

- Irving Younger – Professor, Cornell Law School
- “Ulysses in Court”

April 1980

- Wex S. Malone – Professor, Louisiana State University
- “The Decisional Environment in Torts Litigation”

March 1979

- A. Leon Higginbotham – U.S. District Judge
- “From Thomas Jefferson to Bakke:  Race and the American Legal Process”

February 1978

- Robert Keeton – Langdell Professor, Harvard University
- “Statutes, Gaps and Values in Tort Law”