Meet Our 2024 Keynote Speaker

The logo for the Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration. The event title in purple with an illustration of a stylized Doric column with a star and laurels in gold to the left and the TASH Möbius strip below.

TASH is excited to announce that the keynote speaker at our eighth annual Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration will be Samuel Bagenstos, the General Counsel to the Department of Health and Human Services. Join us to hear him speak to the rights of people with disabilities and the career and accomplishments of our honoree, Steven J. Schwartz, on September 11, 2024 at the American University Washington College of Law.

About Our Keynote Speaker – Samuel Bagenstos

An official federal government portrait of Samuel Bagenstos. He has blond hair parted at his left. He is wearing glasses and a dark suite and tie. A U.S. flag is over his right shoulder.Samuel Bagenstos was appointed by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate to serve as General Counsel to the Department of Health and Human Services. From Inauguration Day until June 2022, he served in the White House as General Counsel to the Office of Management and Budget. Sam is on an unpaid leave from his position as the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. During the Obama Administration, he served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. He served from 2019 to 2021 as the Chair of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, which adjudicates unfair labor practice and representation claims involving public-sector workers in the state.

Outside of his government service, Sam has taught at four law schools and litigated significant civil rights, health, and employment law matters. Among other notable litigation, he assisted in the defense of the Affordable Care Act in the NFIB case, participated in Administrative Procedure Act litigation involving various major regulatory efforts, and represented state legislators and workers’ rights groups defending Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency orders responding to COVID-19. He has argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Young v. United Parcel Service, 135 S. Ct 1338 (2015), which established new protections for pregnant workers.

Bagenstos served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court and for Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the Harvard Law School.

About Our Distinguished Honoree – Steven J. Schwartz, JD

A portrait of Steven Schwartz. He has a white mustache and ear-length curly white hair brushed back on his right, falling over his forehead on his left. He is wearing a brown blazer with a slight plaid and a brown open-collared shirt.Steven J. Schwartz is currently the Legal Director of the Center for Public Representation, after founding the Center in 1976 and then serving as its Executive Director for 38 years. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1971, he represented thousands of people with disabilities over the past fifty years. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, successfully resolved a number of damage cases for institutionalized individuals with disabilities, and litigated dozens of class action cases that challenge the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities in psychiatric hospitals, developmental disability institutions, nursing facilities, and juvenile justice settings. He has provided training and technical assistance to disability rights programs in more than 40 states, authored a number of law review articles, and served on the faculty of the Harvard and Western New England Law Schools.

More Information

For complete details – including the location, symposium agenda, the award ceremony, speaker bios, continuing legal education credits and more – visit the 2024 Outstanding Leadership in Disability Law Symposium and Award Celebration page.