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Sandra Day O'Connor to Address Judicial Reform, Civics at UF

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor will be at the University of Florida Monday to speak separately on judicial reform and civics, and to attend the dedication of the Stephen N. Zack Hall.

OConnor, appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, will be part of a panel to discuss judicial reform at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts.The 10 a.m. panel is part of the Levin College of Laws Allen L. Poucher legal education series.

At 6 p.m., OConnor will appear with former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham in the university auditorium to discuss her work to advance civics education in Florida.

In 2006, Graham and former U.S. Rep. Lou Frey launched a pioneering effort to improve civics education in Florida. OConnor joined their effort, and in 2010 the Justice Sandra Day OConnor Civics Education Act was passed into law, a release from the university stated.This piece of legislation requires that beginning in 2012-2013, Florida middle school students must take one semester of civics. The new law also requires civics-related content be taught in the language arts curriculum of all grade levels beginning with the 2011-12 school year.

At noon, both OConnor and Graham will attend the dedication ceremony of the Stephen N. Zack Hall.

Zack, the immediate past president of the American Bar Association and the University of Florida Levin College of Law alumnus, may best be known outside legal circles for his work in the 2000 recount when he was a trial attorney for Vice President Al Gore in Bush v. Gore.

Zack also was the first Hispanic-American president of the Florida Bar, and one of the first members of the Cuban-American Bar Association.He was the youngest person ever named president of the Florida Bar when elected to the post in 1989. He was named the 2010 Latino Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association.

The building name was approved after the Miami-based Zack and his law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, gave the law school an $800,000 gift, which was matched by the state Legislature. The money also helps establish the Stephen N. Zack Law Endowment.

The hall is one of five buildings that comprise the UF Law campus

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