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Published on Sep 30, 2016
20th Annual Attorney General Robert Abrams Public Service Lecture by former Oklahoma Attorney General Michael C. Turpen September 19, 2016
Each year a prominent public figure who has performed exemplary public service addresses the students, faculty, alumni and friends of New York University School of Law. This series provides an opportunity to focus on the significance of having all or a portion of one’s career dedicated to public service and how that public service can positively impact our society’s dynamically changing legal, governmental and social policy.
The 2016 guest speaker was former Oklahoma Attorney General Michael C. Turpen.
Turpen served as Muskogee County District Attorney from 1977 to 1982 and as Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma from 1984 to 1987. Since 1987, Mr. Turpen has been a partner in one of Oklahoma’s largest law firms, Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, PC.
Since leaving public office, Mr. Turpen has continued to maintain a high profile as a local television personality, public speaker, newspaper columnist, and author. He has a weekly local TV show, "Flashpoint with Turpen & Humphreys," and has appeared on Bill Maher’s "Politically Incorrect." He is well known for his ability to distill the complexities of human experience into memorable aphorisms, fondly called “Turpenisms.” In 2014, he bundled many of these into a book entitled "Turpen Time: The Wit and Wisdom of Mike Turpen."
About Hon. Robert Abrams '63
The Honorable Robert Abrams ‘63 has led a career in public life marked by achievement, independence, and integrity, and was in the vanguard of a movement of reform Democrats who entered politics in the 1960s. He was elected to the first of three terms in the New York State Assembly at the age of 27, followed by three terms as Bronx Borough President and four terms as Attorney General of New York State.
During his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Abrams was widely credited with professionalizing the office of Attorney General, assembling an outstanding staff that enabled him to launch pioneering efforts in the areas of civil rights, consumer rights, environmental protection, and criminal prosecutions. More than 250 of his legislative proposals were passed and signed into law. Mr. Abrams was a national leader among attorneys general, serving as President of the National Association of Attorneys General.