Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 02/08

Keynote Lecture sponsored by 
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP

"To Save A Wretch Like Me"

Presented by
Etienne C. Toussaint
Associate Professor of Law
University of South Carolina Joesph F. Rice School of Law


Thursday, February 8
4:00 p.m.

Blank Rome LLP Classroom (Room 102)
John F. Scarpa Hall


Villanova Law welcomes Etienne C. Toussaint, associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina Joesph F. Rice School of Law, for its annual keynote lecture honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Following the keynote lecture, a reception will be held in the Ambassador David F. Girard-diCarlo ’73 and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo ’74 Student Lounge.

This event may qualify as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education Event for the purposes of Professional Development I, Professional Development II or Professional Development III if attendance at this event advances your goals and contributes to the development of your professional identity as outlined in the syllabus for Professional Development.


Etienne C. Toussaint is an associate professor of law (with tenure) at the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law, where he teaches contracts, business associations, secured transactions, law and political economy and critical legal history, among other courses. His scholarship sits at the intersection of law, history, culture and political economy, with an emphasis on the socioeconomic challenges facing marginalized communities across the United States. He has written about the ethical implications of social impact investing, the role of the solidarity economy in equitable community development, the challenges facing urban farming programs designed to address food insecurity, the plight of Black farmers suffering racial discrimination from the USDA and the pedagogical principles of public citizenship lawyering. He has delivered over 100 presentations on these topics and others at faculty colloquia, legal conferences, community workshops and across various media platforms.

Toussaint has been nationally recognized for his teaching, scholarship and service. In 2023, he was elected as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was awarded both a Faculty Scholarship Award and a Faculty Diversity Leadership Award by the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law. In 2022, he was awarded the Junior Great Teacher Award by the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). In 2021, he was honored as the Stegner Center Young Scholar by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources & the Environment at The University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law. Toussaint has served as a board member of the Washington Council of Lawyers, as a national advisory board member of the National Black Law Students Association and as a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. Toussaint currently serves as the incoming chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on minority groups.

In recent years, Toussaint’s scholarship has been competitively selected for presentation at Yale Law School for the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum; at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Law & Humanities Interdisciplinary Workshop; and at The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s Junior Faculty Business and Financial Law Workshop. His book chapters, articles and essays have been published by the American Bar Association, Cambridge University Press, the California Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Boston University Law Review, the Harvard Environmental Law Review and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, among other print and online publications.

Born and raised in the South Bronx, NY, Toussaint is the son of immigrants from the island of Dominica in the West Indies, and is the proud husband of Ebony A. Toussaint, PhD and the father of their three amazing sons.