Justice & Society Seminar


The Justice and Society Seminar

Developing Better Leaders in Justice, Law, and Society | June 1-7, 2024 and October 6-12, 2024 | Aspen, CO

Each year, the Justice & Society Seminar convenes diverse groups of participants to explore what we mean by justice and how a just society should structure its legal, judicial, and political institutions. Applications are now open for 2024’s Seminars, taking place June 1-7 and October 6-12 in Aspen, CO.

Co-founded in 1979 by the late Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun after he attended the Executive Seminar, the Justice and Society Seminar has provided the space and tools for leaders from across the ideological spectrum to deliberate and build more productive discourse ever since. Participants explore and examine their values and beliefs in light of their professional and personal experiences, including conversations of: law, morality, and justice; personal autonomy and responsibility; religion and the law; race, gender, and justice; and international and transnational justice. The seminar space is limited to 18 participants. Both lawyers and those outside of formal legal careers are welcome.

The Justice and Society Seminar taking place in June 2024 will be moderated by Judge J. Michelle Childs of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Aspen Institute’s Executive Director of Seminars, Todd Breyfogle.

The Justice and Society Seminar taking place in October 2024 will be moderated by former Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and Todd Breyfogle, the Aspen Institute’s Executive Director of Seminars. 

Past moderators and participants have included Supreme Court justices, state and federal judges, distinguished law professors and public servants (elected and non-elected), corporate general counsels, and corporate and non-profit leaders.

Program Design:

Using our time-tested Aspen method of text-based moderated dialogue, seminar participants engage in a structured dialogue grounded in classic and contemporary writings, law cases, and works of literature, including works by Plato, Aristotle, Hannah Arendt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohammed Asad, Pope Benedict XVI, Friedrich Hayek, Aung San Suu Kyi, Vaclav Havel, and Paul Tillich.

Seminar participants are a curated mosaic of 18 distinguished individuals chosen from a variety of fields who bring a wealth of personal and professional experience to the discussion. They are often leaders in their respective communities who have reached a point where they are ready to take pause from their often hectic daily routine, and revisit the values and ideals that guide their work.

Location and Capacity:

  • Location: the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, CO.
  • Seminar Capacity: limited to 18 participants, so early application submission is strongly encouraged. 
  • 2024 Fee: $13,950 ($12,950 for those who fully register by December 31, 2023.)
  • Scholarships are available for select candidates.

Apply Now

Questions: Reach out to Kat Godfrey, Director of the Justice, Society, & Democratic Institutions Initiative at Kathleen.Godfrey@aspeninstitute.org

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