Support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UVA Law

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DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND BELONGING ARE VALUES FUNDAMENTAL to the University of Virginia School of Law community, as well as to legal education more generally and the practice of law itself. It is critically important that the lawyers, leaders, and public servants we train both embrace and reflect the diversity of our nation and the globe. A commitment to making our society a more just and equal one has been the abiding mission of my professional life. As a scholar, I have spent much of my career studying the pernicious effects of discrimination, cultural isolation, and political polarization. What I have learned has made me deeply committed to diversity not as some abstract concept but as a way of life. As dean of UVA Law, I work to bring that way of life into being here and to foster a culture in which everyone can thrive. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial for so many reasons and on so many levels: for establishing genuine dialogue across difference within our community; for ensuring access for all to law school and the legal profession; for maintaining a legal system that seeks justice as it represents and mediates conflicts between differing interests, goals, and perspectives; and for achieving true equality as a society. Above the entrance to our law school are the words, “That those alone may be servants of the law who labor with learning, courage, and devotion to preserve liberty and promote justice.” We have not always lived up to the promise of that statement. Our institution, like our nation, was born in contradiction—between the reality of slavery and the aspirations of democracy and service. We must continue to reckon with the legacy of slavery that has been part of our history since our 1819 founding, as well as the segregation and discrimination that followed. We also must continue to redefine what those founding aspirations mean for our own time. We bring those aspirations closer to reality by striving to create a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff that ensures the belonging, thriving, and success of every member. We do so in how we, as teachers, scholars, and students—and as lawyers— advance justice in the world. The words above our entrance are not self-fulfilling. They are hard fought and hard won. They require vigilance and constant renewal. They also require resources. The support of alumni and friends makes possible all that we do at the Law School, and it is critical to achieving these longstanding aspirations. I thank you in advance for your support and partnership in pursuing these critically important goals — Risa Goluboff, Dean Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law Professor of History



THE WORK OF THE LAW SCHOOL IS IMPORTANT, as reflected by the presence of our graduates in leadership roles across law, business, public service, and government. Maintaining such significance requires a well-funded law school. It also warrants a modern and challenging curriculum. The final part of the equation is educating a diverse and inclusive student body, one that is representative of all communities. I was born the son of sharecroppers in rural Virginia during the Jim Crow era. My parents realized education was the only path to the American dream for their children, so in late 1955, once they settled their tenant debt, they moved to a small factory town to access better schools. After high school, with substantial financial aid, I attended and graduated from the University of Rochester. In 1977, when it was time for law school, I picked UVA because of its excellence and its value, when scholarships, loans, and work study were aggregated. Though I was one of only a small number of Black students at UVA, studying at the Law School in the late ’70s was largely collegial. That environment helped fuel a sense of community and service, including a sense that I should do what I could to ensure future generations had similar opportunities. Soon after graduation, I began making modest donations to the Law School, having been impressed with the democratic notion that gifts of any size are appreciated. Some years later, I became a class manager for the Class of 1980 and a member of the Alumni Council, beginning a formal commitment to raise funds for the continued excellence of the Law School. My engagement deepened over time, as I was privileged to serve as president of the Alumni Council and now as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Law School Foundation. It is especially gratifying to lead the Board during a capital campaign for a law school committed to its people and diversity among them. To help ensure diversity at UVA Law, we need to minimize and eliminate barriers to attendance for all applicants, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds and underserved communities. Scholarships play a key role in who attends which law school. Financial aid was critical in my choices to attend Rochester and UVA Law. To honor the important role of scholarships in my life, I recently created a scholarship to be awarded to those who contribute to the diversity of the Law School community. As we continue the Law School’s campaign to “Honor the Future,” please think about how you can support our efforts to ensure excellence and inclusion among our students (and faculty and staff)—through scholarships, fellowships, professorships, or unrestricted support.


— F. Blair Wimbush ’80, Chair Law School Foundation Board of Trustees






Associate, Desmarais, New York

Associate, Jones Day, Atlanta

What does diversity mean to you?

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity is about realizing people’s differ-

Diversity not only means experiencing an

ent life experiences and recognizing their

array of perspectives and backgrounds,

different viewpoints. There is no excuse

but also being part of a community that

for the inability to have respectful conver-

embraces and strives to grow from those

sations. Having conversations with people

differences. It is an environment where

on difficult issues has provided me with

differences in opinions, thought processes,

personal growth. There were times where

and trajectories are not only welcome, but

my viewpoint changed and times where I


drew a line. Diversity is important because

Diversity isn’t some static ideal that just

it gives people the opportunity to figure

exists when a room consists of more than

out what line they will draw.

one gender and more than one ethnicity; for me, it only truly exists from constant demonstrations of effort, action, and respect.






Associate, Bracewell, Houston

Clerk, U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia (2020–21) Associate, Gibson Dunn, Washington, D.C. (Fall 2021)

What does diversity mean to you? Everyone is different. Diversity should be a path to recognizing that not everyone

What does diversity mean to you?

was raised under the same socioeconomic

It means amplifying voices and empathiz-

conditions, in the same types of neighbor-

ing with those who are different from us.

hoods, and with the same combination of

Diversity is a way to engage with others,

parents, schooling, and culture. It allows

to learn and better ourselves and our

individuals to grow in an increasingly inter-

communities. Ultimately, diversity can help

connected world and to learn from those

us break down barriers across different

with different, and not necessarily incorrect,

subgroups in a productive way.

views. Understanding diversity makes us stronger as individuals, as lawyers, and as a society.


SCHOLARSHIPS and LOAN FORGIVENESS: THE HEART OF THE MATTER STUDENTS ARE THE HEART OF UVA LAW, and they are the reason scholarships and loan forgiveness are a top fundraising priority. Removing financial barriers ensures students from diverse communities can attend law school and enter the legal profession. Financial aid also enables careers in public service. Financial aid is almost always a significant—if not decisive—factor when admitted students choose UVA Law. Having the resources to provide enough aid is critical to expanding our diversity efforts now and in the future.





grows to

grows to



in 20 years, producing

in 20 years, producing



for students

for students

Calculated with a 7% growth rate and a 4.5% spending rate




$750,000 | $500,000 | $250,000

Named scholarships, which carry the name of the donor or an honoree, enable the Law School to attract diverse applicants who are likely to be recruited and supported by many peer schools. These scholarships are awarded to students of particular merit, promise, or need, and are intended to provide substantial tuition assistance.

SCHOLARSHIPS 2019–20 552 students received $18.8 million



Named loan forgiveness funds, which recognize the donor or an honoree, enable the Law School to fulfill its commitment to making public service a viable career path for students of all backgrounds. A fund endowed with $250,000 provides more than $11,000 annually in loan assistance to graduates working in community or public service or in underserved areas of Virginia.



The Elaine R. Jones ’70 Scholarship provides support for incoming students dedicated to pursuing careers that promote racial equity.

Elaine R. Jones ’70

THE ELAINE R. JONES ’70 SCHOLARSHIP, named in honor of the school’s first Black alumna, was established on the occasion of Jones’s 50th reunion. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Jones was the first female president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, from 1993 to 2004. After she turned down a Wall Street job offer in 1970 to work at LDF, Jones became one of the first Black women to defend death row inmates, including as counsel of record in Furman v. Georgia, a U.S. Supreme Court case that abolished the death penalty in 37 states. Jones also worked for two years as special assistant to the secretary of transportation in the Ford administration. She was the first Black person to serve on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. The scholarship provides support for incoming students dedicated to pursuing careers that promote racial equity. Genesis Moore ’23 is the inaugural recipient. Moore, of Athens, Georgia, earned a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Georgia, where she served as vice president of its NAACP chapter and was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She also served as a UGA Perspectives board member, working on initiatives for the Office of Institutional Diversity. Additionally, Moore was a youth seminar leader and tutor for high school students.


Existing UVA Law Scholarships Focused on Enhancing Diversity and Equity Carlos M. Brown ’99 and Tamara A. Charity-Brown, M.D., Bicentennial Scholarship Robert G. Byron Bicentennial Scholarship Class of 1982 James Madison Scholarship Howard H. Conaway Scholarship Elaine R. Jones ’70 Scholarship Law Alumnae Scholarship Persimmon Scholarship Louise S. Sams ’85 Bicentennial Scholarship Dasha Smith ’98 Scholarship Clay Thomas Memorial Scholarship F. Blair Wimbush Bicentennial Scholarship Genesis Moore ’23

Existing UVA Law Fellowships and Programs Supporting Careers That Promote Racial Justice

Moore was inspired by Jones’s career path and said her dream job is to follow in the footsteps of such pioneers and become a civil rights lawyer with her own firm to help underserved communities.

Program in Law and Public Service

“By fighting against these injustices at the judi-

Criminal Justice Public Service Summer Fellowship

cial level, I will be able to do my part in combating

Katherine and David deWilde ’67 Public Interest Summer Fellowship

systemic inequity and making changes on a larger scale,” Moore said.

Robert F. Kennedy ’51 Public Service Fellowship

Jones remains thankful to UVA Law for taking

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Legal Services Fellowship

a chance on her and is proud Moore is the inaugural scholarship recipient.


PROFESSORSHIPS PAVING THE WAY PROFESSORSHIPS ENABLE THE LAW SCHOOL TO ATTRACT, SUPPORT, AND RETAIN the talented and diverse scholars and teachers who are essential to the school’s mission and reputation. Intense competition for leading scholars has made recruiting and keeping the strongest faculty more challenging and more expensive than ever.



Recognize preeminent senior faculty and are typically held for the duration of the chairholder’s tenure. The income from endowment helps attract, reward, and retain teachers and scholars of distinction.



Provide a flexible and meaningful way to reward emerging scholars and encourage faculty productivity. They provide significant summer and research support and are usually held for three-year terms. Appointments are based on scholarly recognition and contributions to the institution.

Existing UVA Law Professorships Supporting Faculty Scholarship and Teaching on Racial Justice Nancy L. Buc ’69 Research Professorship in Democracy and Equity Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professorship F. Palmer Weber Research Professorship in Civil Liberties and Human Rights


The democratizing aspect of the Constitution cannot be overstated. For me, its cardinal principle is that all persons stand in a position of equality before the law.”

— Thurgood Marshall

THE THURGOOD MARSHALL DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORSHIP IN LAW honors the late justice, who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1967 to 1991. Before joining the court, Justice Marshall served for more than 20 years as director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The professorship, funded by more than 120 donors, has a market value of more than $2 million and is awarded to scholars of distinction whose work will further Justice Marshall’s legacy.

“This is your democracy … ” Justice Marshall delivered the commencement address for the University of Virginia on May 21, 1978. Thurgood Marshall Jr. ’81 (College ’78), was in the graduating class. Justice Marshall’s speech is excerpted below. Those of you here today about to use your degrees, it is for you now to undertake the projects of this age …. It is not for me to tell you what these are—each generation must find its own calling. But you have the energies of youth—and while you have them, use them, that you may look back on your lives with as much a sense of accomplishment as Jefferson no doubt did …. Each of you as an individual must pick your own goals. Listen to others but do not become a blind follower. Do not wait for others to move out—move out yourself—where you see wrong or inequality or injustice speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy—make it—protect it—pass it on. You are ready. Go to it.

The democratizing aspect of the Constitution cannot be overstated. For me, its cardinal principle is that all persons stand in a position of equality before the law. The Constitution gives each and every one of you an equal right to your own opinions and to participate in the process of your own governance. These are precious rights that we must continually strive to preserve, and whose promise we must seek to attain. There are still far too many persons in this country who cannot participate as equals in the processes of Government—persons too poor, too ignorant, persons discriminated against by other people for no good reason. But our ideal, the ideal of our Constitution, is to eliminate these barriers to the aspirations of all Americans to participate fully in our government and society. We have realized it far better than most countries, but we still have a long way to travel and we must continue to strive in that direction ….

— Papers of the President (#RG-2/1/2.801), Special Collections, University of Virginia Library


UNRESTRICTED GIFTS POWERFUL RESOURCES UNRESTRICTED GIFTS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE LAW SCHOOL and their skillful use by the Dean keeps the school and its programs vibrant and nimble. “Unrestricted” may imply a wide range of discretion in their use, but in fact these funds are chiefly committed to critical areas such as faculty research, scholarships, loan forgiveness, and summer public interest funding. Unrestricted funds also provide the Dean with important latitude to undertake new programs and projects and meet unanticipated needs. Alumni may name and endow unrestricted funds with a minimum gift or pledge of $100,000. Pledges may be satisfied over 10 years. These funds provide yearly unrestricted income in perpetuity, supporting current and future priorities.



My core mission as dean is to continue to strengthen the best legal education and the best student experience in the country. As you well know, that is what we do here at UVA. Your generosity, and especially your donations of unrestricted funds, makes possible our unique culture of fellowship and learning.”


— Dean Risa Goluboff


forward some of the opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to receive over the years. Many of those opportunities occurred at, or because of, UVA Law. Therefore, it’s extremely important to me to help continue the legacy of UVA Law. I recognize I would not be in my current position without the support of those who came before me, and I want to provide that same support to current and future UVA Law students. I also believe there are many alumni and other supporters who want to do the same. I also hope that the creation of my endowment generates a networking effect that encourages other alumni, especially women and people of color, to establish their own named endowments in the future. — Ashanté L. Smith ’02 Partner, Troutman Sanders Richmond, Virginia


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

— Robert F. Kennedy ’51

Centers and Clinics Exploring Justice and Equity Center for the Study of Race and Law

Holistic Juvenile Defense Clinic

Child Advocacy Clinic

Human Rights Study Project

Civil Rights Clinic

Immigration Law Clinic

(funded by the Sharon M. Owlett ’75 Civil Rights Litigation Fund)

Criminal Defense Clinic Criminal Justice Center Economic and Consumer Justice Clinic Environmental Law and Community Engagement Clinic Federal Criminal Sentence Reduction Clinic


Innocence Project and Clinic International Human Rights Clinic Litigation and Housing Law Clinic Prosecution Clinic State and Local Government Policy Clinic

Center for the Study of Race and Law LAWYERS CANNOT FULLY UNDERSTAND THE AMERICAN LEGAL LANDSCAPE without studying the impact of race. The Law School founded the Center for the Study of Race and Law in 2003 to provide opportunities for students, scholars, practitioners, and community members to examine and exchange ideas related to race and law through lectures, symposia, and scholarship. The Center also coordinates with the Law School to offer a concentration of courses on race and law, and serves as a resource for faculty whose teaching or scholarship addresses subjects related to race. Dedicated funds will enable the Center to support additional curricular and co-curricular programming on race, additional visiting faculty in relevant areas, and additional support for student research and learning in areas of race and law. In addition, the Center will be the hub of expanded support for developing future legal scholars with interests in race and law.




Student Affinity Groups and Organizations VIRGINIA STUDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE IN ORGANIZATIONS that bring together students of different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds, as well as students of different sexual orientations, gender identities, and political affiliations. Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Black Law Students Association Common Law Grounds Feminist Legal Forum Jewish Law Students Association Lambda Law Alliance Latin American Law Organization Law Christian Fellowship Middle Eastern and North African Law Student Association Minority Rights Coalition Muslim Law Students Association Older Wiser Law Students Public Interest Law Association Rex E. Lee Law Society South Asian Law Student Association St. Thomas More Society Virginia Law Families Virginia Law First-Generation Professionals Virginia Law in Prison Project Virginia Law Veterans Virginia Law Women Women of Color


We bring our founding aspirations closer to reality by creating a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff that ensures the belonging, thriving, and success of every member.”

— Dean Risa Goluboff

University of Virginia Law School Foundation 580 Massie Road Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738

Front cover: Members of Women of Color, pictured in 2019, include Jia Anderson '21, Kunchok Dolma '21, Doriane Nguenang '21, Nicole Agama '21, and Zona Hijazi '21. Photo by Jesus Pino.

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