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Law Comes to Life (WP)

News Story

Pace Law School is bringing the lessons of law legend Clarence Darrow to life through two performances of "Clarence Darrow," starring Professor Bennett L. Gershman as the lead, on April 24 and 25.

Pace University School of Law is pleased to announce its production of Clarence Darrow, starring Professor Bennett L. Gershman, one of the Law School’s original faculty members, in the title role.

Clarence Darrow is likely the most famous trial lawyer in US history, best known for the Scopes Monkey Trial and for his defense of Leopold and Loeb. For more than 50 years he helped shape the moral conscience of the nation. Early in his legal career he represented railroads, but after the Pullman Strike of 1894, he left the railroads and mostly represented the interests of the organized labor as well as criminal and civil cases from his office in Chicago. He is famous for defending poor, weak, and unpopular clients.

Themes of human dignity, freedom, and equality mark his advocacy, and many of his trials have become central motifs in American law and culture. Darrow’s historic defense of the “thrill killers” Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, young men who were charged with murdering 14-year-old Bobby Franks simply for the excitement, was called the “Trial of the Century,” and memorialized in the film Compulsion. Darrow’s impassioned defense of the two boys, which culminated with his historic 12-hour summation to save the defendants’ lives, may be the most famous closing argument in US history. 

The production will teach the story of Darrow and his career, in his own words, and describe his life and career. Clarence Darrow is the first of its kind to be open to the public at the Law School and will run for two shows only in the Moot Court Room on Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m.

General admission tickets are free, with a $15 suggested donation; all proceeds will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative. For more information or to reserve seats, contact Producer Jake B. Sher at (617) 620-3831 or