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University of South Dakota OUTlaws Annual Lavender Lecture  

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

About This Year's Speakers Print Page

About Adam P. Romero, Featured Speaker

Adam P. Romero is Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute. Previously, Romero was a senior associate at the law firm WilmerHale, where he was a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation and Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Groups. He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case in the nation to declare unconstitutional laws barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in the veterans-benefits context.

Romero completed clerkships for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He received his law degree in 2007 from Yale Law School, where he won the Kelley Prize and was a Coker Fellow, an editor of several law journals, and a student director of the Complex Federal Litigation Clinic. He received his undergraduate degree in 2002 from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude and winning the Sherman-Bennett Prize.

Romero has published in numerous volumes and journals and is the co-editor (with Martha Albertson Fineman and Jack E. Jackson) of Feminist and Queer Legal Theory: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations (2009). From 2007-2008, Romero was the Peter J. Cooper fellow at the Williams Institute. Prior to law school, he was a criminal defense investigator for the Bronx Defenders.


Additional Information About Adam P. Romero and Publications

Link to Adam Romero's Profile from the Williams Institute

M.V. Lee Badgett, Amanda Baumle, Shawn Kravich, Adam P. Romero,  Brad Sears - See more at:

M. V. Lee Badgett, Amanda K. Baumle, Shawn Kravich & Adam P. Romero, The Impact on Maryland's Budget of Allowing Same-Sex Couples to Marry, 7 U. Md. L.J. Race, Religion, Gender & Class 295 (2007), available here

More reports authored by Romero are available from the Williams Institute website here.  Use the search box to search by author last name.

For information about a book co-edited by Romero and to access an e-book version, click below:


This Year's Lecture Topic

Adam Romero and Karen Mackey will speak on the topic of employment discrimination.


About Karen Mackey, Guest Speaker

Karen Mackey is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska. She graduated with a B.S. in sociology from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1990. In 1994 she was awarded a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law. She is a member of the bar in Iowa and Nebraska.

Upon her graduation from law school Karen worked as a public defender for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and later for the Fortune 500 computer manufacturer Gateway, Inc. She is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission, a position she has held since 2004.

Karen is a 6th degree black belt in judo, a sport she has participated in since she was a teenager. A retired national and international-level competitor, she teaches people of all ages and has coached numerous junior elite athletes. Karen is active in several national-level committees in USA Judo and the United States Judo Federation (USJF).

In 1995, she was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1996 she received the USJF President’s Award for her contributions to the sport of judo. In 2008, Karen was named a Woman of Excellence by Women Aware.

Karen is a lay leader at First Unitarian Church where she also serves on the church’s board of directors. She also serves on the board of directors of Siouxland Human Investment Parthership and Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland.

She was a co-founder of Siouxland Pride Alliance, a grassroots organization promoting the equality, safety and wellbeing of LGBT people (with an emphasis on LGBT and questioning youth) in Siouxland. Karen has served on the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs since its inception. She currently serves as Commission chair. She also serves of the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board.


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