University of Wisconsin–Madison

Geraldine Hines '71 coming to UW Law as Brittingham Visiting Scholar

Geraldine Hines

The Honorable Geraldine Hines will present a series of talks and classroom lectures at the University of Wisconsin Law School this month, as part of the Brittingham Visiting Scholars program. The program brings international experts to campus to share their real-world knowledge, perspectives and experiences with UW students.

Hines’s free public talk, "Race, Policing and the Constitution: Do Black Lives Matter?," is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in Room 2260 of the Law School. In addition, she will give the keynote lecture at the Law School’s annual Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day, and make appearances in several undergraduate and Law School classes.

Hines, a 1971 Law School graduate, made Massachusetts history in 2014, when she became the first black woman appointed to the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.

But Hines also holds a place in UW-Madison history. In 1968, she was an inaugural member of UW Law’s Legal Education Opportunities Program (LEO) and one of only four black students in her entering class. The LEO Program, launched that year to recruit and retain law students of color, has since graduated more than 1,500 attorneys.

She also participated in the Black Student Alliance, a group that aimed to focus the university’s attention on the needs of African American students. When negotiations with administration over the Alliance’s demands broke down, thousands of black and white students boycotted classes, marched to the state Capitol, took over lecture halls and blocked building entrances. This year, UW-Madison is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Black Students Strike.

After law school, Hines worked as a Boston attorney for 30 years, specializing in criminal defense and civil rights litigation. Prior to her appointment to the Massachusetts high court, she had served as an associate justice of the state’s Superior Court. She retired from the bench in 2017 when she turned 70, the mandatory retirement age for Massachusetts judges.

Hines last visited UW Law School in 2016 when she received the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor conferred by the Wisconsin Alumni Association.

Submitted by Law School News on February 11, 2019

This article appears in the categories: Alumni, Features, UW Women in Law

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