After graduating from Blair, Chris Ayers ’98 went on to study political science at the renowned Brown University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. Immediately after Brown, Mr. Ayers traveled west to secure his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. Today, Mr. Ayers is a well-known trial attorney at Seeger Weiss in New York City. Blair Academy is most excited to welcome back their former wrestling champion to speak at his first Society of Skeptics on Tuesday, January 23, where he’ll talk about how the law can drive justice and change society for the better.
As a trial attorney for Seeger Weiss, Mr. Ayers spends his time representing individual and corporate plaintiffs throughout the United States. He has most recently been honored by The New Jersey Law Journal, which named him as a New Leader of the Bar for the 2023 New Jersey Legal Awards, and Lawdragon, which recognized him in 2022 as one of the nation’s leading plaintiff consumer lawyers.
Though it is his job, fighting for social justice and using the law to bring about positive change is also Mr. Ayers’ true passion. Last year, he successfully represented the family of Henrietta Lacks in a landmark case seeking justice against those who have unjustly profited off Mrs. Lacks’s stolen cells—securing an historic settlement on what would have been Henrietta Lacks’s 103rd birthday.
Mr. Ayers is currently steering litigation against social media companies Meta, TikTok, Snap, and YouTube, alleging that the social media companies have intentionally designed and developed their social media platforms to exploit the adolescent brain to induce harmful, unhealthy, and compulsive use by kids. Plaintiffs in these cases are the young people across the country whose descent into the void of social media has led to serious and sometimes fatal harm, and their parents and guardians.
“The law provides a framework, but it is the people who drive change,” said an optimistic Mr. Ayers in a pre-event interview. “The law is a powerful instrument for shaping a just society, ensuring equality, and protecting the rights of individuals.
“Everyone has a role to play in upholding the law. The law is not a perfect solution, but by understanding the law, one can advocate for changes that reflect evolving societal values.”
When looking back on his career, Mr. Ayers credits much of his success to his mentors and time spent in wholesome academic experiences such as the Society of Skeptics.
“Society of Skeptics has been empowering students for decades to challenge prevailing narratives, question systemic inequalities, and explore pathways towards a more just and equitable society. Led by the incredible Dr. Miller, Skeptics was something I looked forward to when I was a student at Blair, and it’s a great honor and privilege to be invited back as a speaker,” said Mr. Ayers, who looks forward to speaking at his alma mater.
“I’d like to encourage students to be informed, engaged citizens who understand their rights and responsibilities and are motivated to contribute.
Each of them has a role to play in shaping a more just and equitable future.”
All are welcome to hear Mr. Ayers speak in the forum of the Chiang-Elghanayan Center next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.
The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.