Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Lobby

The J. Byron McCormick Society of Law and Public Affairs was founded in 1978 to honor Dr. James Byron McCormick (1895-1970), former president of the University of Arizona and dean of the College of Law. His career exemplified a life of devotion to the public affairs of his community, state and nation.

The McCormick Society was created in his honor and to perpetuate his faith in the public discussions that are the lifeblood of a healthy democracy.

Each year, the Society hosts the J. Byron McCormick Lecture on Law and Public Affairs, which brings eminent national and international experts on law and public affairs to speak on the University of Arizona campus.

Recent Event

2021 McCormick Lecture

Jane Mayer, investigative Journalist and author of “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” delivered the 2021 McCormick Lecture.

On Feb. 18, 2021, Mayer presented “A Post-Mortem on Our Authoritarian Experiment,” followed by a question and answer session moderated by Stephen Golden (‘02) and Professor Nancy Sharkey from the UArizona School of Journalism.

McCormick Society Membership

The McCormick Society and its annual lecture are sustained by one-time membership fees of $500 for an individual or couple membership. Under normal conditions, members have reserved seating at the in-person McCormick Lecture, and are invited to attend a no-host dinner with the speaker at the Arizona Inn that is a highlight of the year.

If you would like to join and help support this 40-year-old tradition, please contact Toni Massaro, Regents Professor and Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law.

Recent Lectures

ACLU Director David Cole (2020)

Professor Erwin Chemerinsky (2018)

New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak (2018)


Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan (2016)



2021-22 Paul Butler, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center
2020-21 David Cole, National Legal Director, ACLU, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center
2018-19 Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker (re-scheduled for Spring 2021)
2017-18 Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
2016-17 Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent, The New York Times
2015-16 Elena Kagan, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
2014-15 Barney Frank, US House of Representatives (Massachusetts) (1981-2013)
2013-14 Olympia Snowe, United States Senator (Maine) (1995-2013)
2012-13 Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center
2011-12 Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
2010-11 Neal Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law Georgetown Law Center
2009-10 Joe Nocera, Writer for The New York Times
2008-09 George Packer, Writer for The New Yorker and Author
2007-08 Richard J. Goldstone, Justice Constitutional Court of South Africa (Retired)
2006-07 Frederick Schauer Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment Harvard Kennedy School
2005-06 John L. McGoldrick Executive Vice President and General Counsel Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company
2004-05 Samantha Power, Lecturer in Public Policy Harvard Kennedy School
2003-04 David Brooks, Writer for the New York Times, Political Analyst and Author
2002-03 Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court Correspondent The New York Times
2001-02 Stephen L. Carter William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law Yale Law School
2000-01 George Mitchell Chairman, International Crisis Group Former U.S. Senator, Maine
1999-00 Alan K. Simpson, Director, Institute of Politics Harvard Kennedy School Former U.S. Senator, Wyoming
1998-99 Derek C. Bok, National Chair Common Cause Former President, Harvard University
1997-98 Richard A. Posner, Chief Judge U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
1996-97 Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Trustee Professor of Law University of Pennsylvania Law School and Stanley Sporkin, Judge U.S. District Court (D.D.C.)
1995-96 Warren B. Rudman, Former U.S. Senator New Hampshire
1994-95 Kathleen M. Sullivan, Professor of Law Stanford Law School
1993-94 Jack B. Weinstein, Judge U.S. District Court (E.D. New York)
1992-93 Susan Westerberg Prager, Dean UCLA School of Law
1991-92 John C. Coffee, Jr. Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law
1990-91 Antonin Scalia, Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
1988-89 Anthony Kennedy, Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
1987-88 Lester Thurow, Professor of Economics, M.I.T.
1986-87 Jesse Choper, Dean University of California, Berkeley School of Law
1985-86 Shirley Hufstedler, Former Secretary of Education
1984-85 Alan Furth, President, Southern Pacific Railroad
1983-84 Rex Lee, Former U.S. Solicitor General
1982-83 Griffin Bell, Former U.S. Attorney General
1981-82 Edward D. Re, Judge U.S. Court of Claims
1980-81 William H. Rehnquist, Justice U.S. Supreme Court
1979-80 Joseph T. Sneed Judge U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit