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The University of Mississippi School of Law recently hosted the end of the year Pro Bono Initiative (PBI) luncheon. This luncheon recognized both student volunteers and faculty leaders, who participate in the program’s efforts to help the community.

Dean Susan Duncan and Tiffany Graves

Tiffany Graves, who acted as interim director and adjunct professor for the Pro Bono Initiative, was recognized for her service and her past positions with the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project.

“Tiffany Graves is the perfect recipient of the PBI award. Mississippi has been blessed by Tiffany’s excellent work throughout the State ensuring that all Mississippians have access to our court system,” said Judge Jacqueline Mask of the 1st Chancery District of Mississippi and advocate of the PBI. “Tiffany is extremely intelligent, diligent, and compassionate. She has a true servant’s heart.”

Graves is currently the Pro Bono Counsel for Bradley Arant.

Alaina Garland, a third-year law student, received the Outstanding 3L Pro Bono Initiative Volunteer of the Year Award. Garland has been extremely active with the PBI during her time at Ole Miss Law.

Debbie Bell and Alaina Garland

Debbie Bell, Associate Dean for Clinic Programs and Professor of Law, was honored for being the Director and Champion of the PBI. Bell has been at the helm of the PBI for past seven years and is credited with making the program a success. Bell, who is retiring this summer, officially handed the reigns over to Assistant Director Kris Simpson, a 2015 graduate of the law school.

Over the past seven years, students have volunteered their time to represent clients in day-long “mini-clinics,” work on policy initiatives, and provide public education on legal issues. According to Bell, during this academic year alone, students and volunteers with the PBI helped over 300 Mississippians.

Debbie Bell and David Calder

Bell, throughout her years as director, has encouraged students to take what they have been learning in the classroom and bring it to life by helping those who have low access to quality legal assistance.

“Most of these clinics provide direct assistance to low-income clients, including interviewing, formulating advice, counseling clients, and drafting pleadings or other documents,” said Bell. “The students’ classroom experience comes alive as they put substantive law into practice.”

For more information on the current projects, visit

Professor Ron Rychlak was interviewed for an episode of “The Pope,” a series that is on CNN.

A portion of The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, and Prosecution (Angelico Press, 2017), edited by Professor Ron Rychlak, has been updated and adapted for inclusion in the booklet Echoes of Genocide. The booklet was published by the Kurdish Regional Government Representation in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 1988 Halabja genocide against Iraqi Kurds by the Baathist Regime of Saddam Hussein. In addition to a brief narrative of the ISIS’ genocide against the Iraqi Christians, the booklet used two photographs from the book.

Professor Matthew Hall received this year’s Ben A. Hardy Faculty Excellence Award. The Ben A. Hardy Faculty Excellence Award was created March 17, 2006, by a Memorandum of Agreement by Benjamin A. Hardy , Jr. of Mentone, Alabama, donor and The University of Mississippi Foundation.  The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding teaching, scholarship and service by a faculty member from The University of Mississippi School of Law. The recipient of the award is selected annually by the Dean of the School of Law and the President of the Law School Student Body (LSSB).

Kristina Alexander’s article Small Critter, Big Problem: Protecting the Pearl River Map Turtle in Mississippi, was selected as the Featured ELR Article of the Month for the March 2018 issue of the Environmental Law Institute.

Professor Mercer Bullard was mentioned in a Bloomberg article entitled “Private-Equity Giants Get a Surprise Win in $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill.”

Justice Jimmy Robertson and Professor Andrea Harrington

The University of Mississippi School of Law recently hosted a luncheon with former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James L. “Jimmy” Robertson. Justice Robertson discussed his time on the Mississippi Supreme Court, his relationship with the renowned scholar Myers McDougal (LL.B. 1929), as well as his recent donation of two of McDougal’s books to the Law School: Law and Public Order in Space (1963) with Professor Harold D. Lasswell and Professor Ivan A. Vlasic, the first comprehensive exposition regarding the earth-space arena and the astrophysical world, and Jurisprudence for a Free Society, Studies in Law, Science and Policy (1992, two volumes), also with Professor Lasswell.

The latter is considered the magnum opus of McDougal and Lasswell. Both works are inscribed and autographed by McDougal and were donated for use by faculty, scholars, students, and the public.

“Both Professor Myres Smith McDougal and Justice Jimmy Robertson have made indelible contributions to Mississippi and to our law school,” said Associate Dean Michele Alexandre. “We are honored by Justice Robertson’s donation. We are extremely proud that Professor McDougal’s groundbreaking books will be housed in our library.”

Justice Robertson received his B.A. from the University of Mississippi in 1962 and his J.D. from Harvard University in 1965. He served on the Supreme Court of Mississippi from 1983-1992. Robertson began teaching Admiralty and Maritime Law at Ole Miss Law in Spring 1977. He became a full-time faculty member in 1979, teaching Jurisprudence and Legal Process. Robertson continued teaching Jurisprudence and Legal Process on Fridays while serving on the Supreme Court.

“The Law School was honored to have Justice Robertson deliver such a fascinating lecture on Myers McDougal, who is considered a pioneer in the legal field,” said Susan Duncan, dean of the law school. “His generosity through the donation of these books will benefit our community for years to come.”

Professor McDougal was a Mississippi native and a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. He received his B.C.L degree in 1930 from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his doctor of laws degree from Yale in 1931. In 1935, McDougal became a full-time faculty member at Yale and was eventually named the Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law. He taught at Yale for over 40 years.

McDougal was a classmate of Justice Robertson’s mother at Ole Miss, which is how the two formed their connection. During a visit back to Ole Miss in 1996 when he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, McDougal referred to Justice Robertson as “the son of one of my favorite classmates, Susie Mae Lawton, and a past and probable future justice of the State of Mississippi.”

According to Robertson, he made this gift “in honor of Professor McDougal and Susie Mae Lawton Robertson, his college classmate – and my mother – and of all who, as these two did, strive to further human dignity, the greatest value known to the ordered existence of peoples throughout the world and beyond, excepting none.

“May others learn, as I have, from the lives, teachings and examples of these two members of the University’s Class of 1926.”

Unprecedented Effort by MacArthur Justice Center at University of Mississippi School of Law Provides Details on Thousands of Pre-Trial Detainees

The MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law today made available to the public a comprehensive database identifying all persons detained in Mississippi’s county jails. The database, available at, provides the names of the more than 7,000 inmates in Mississippi’s local jails and includes the counties in which they are being held, the date of their arrest, the charges against them, and the total amount of time they have been in jail. The vast majority of those identified in the database have not yet been convicted and are awaiting indictment, trial, or mental health services.

The information comes from “jail rosters” obtained from Mississippi sheriffs through public records requests issued by students in the MacArthur Justice Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Under Mississippi’s recently-enacted Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure, sheriffs now are required to produce these rosters so local judges can review the conditions of release for all bail-eligible felony defendants who have been in jail more than 90 days. Cliff Johnson, Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at UM Law, estimated that his students and staff spent more than 500 hours obtaining copies of the jail rosters and creating the database. “It should not be this hard to access information regarding who local counties have locked up, why they’re holding them, and how long they have been detained.” There is no uniformity in the way sheriffs across Mississippi maintain and report this data. “It took a Herculean effort by my students and our staff to make sure that people can, for the first time ever, go to a single source for this vitally important information.”

The database confirms that many Mississippians awaiting trial are held in jail for months, and over a year in some cases, before their cases are taken up by any court. A search of the database reveals that more than 3,700 people have been detained in Mississippi’s county jails for longer than 90 days, 2,200 for longer than 180 days, 1,200 for longer than 270 days, and 875 for longer than a year. Some of these already have been convicted and are being held in a county jail rather than a Mississippi prison, but a significant majority are pre-trial detainees. Johnson says there is no one reason that criminal cases in Mississippi take so long to be resolved. He says that delays occur for different reasons in different counties, and that there is plenty of blame to go around. “In some cases, law enforcement officers have not completed their investigations in a diligent manner or are waiting for long-overdue results from the Mississippi Crime Lab. In other cases, defendants may be sitting for months or years waiting for a mental health evaluation or treatment. Sometimes judges and prosecutors do not push cases, and sometimes defense lawyers attempt to put off cases for as long as possible. The result of all this is that people sit in jail for months – people who are presumed innocent and have not yet had their day in court.”

The vast majority of those languishing in jail prior to trial are incarcerated because they cannot afford bail imposed by Mississippi judges. Therefore, it is overwhelmingly poor Mississippians unable to finance their freedom who are detained, at length, in county jails. The costs of detaining these people are borne by Mississippi’s 82 counties, and the State of Mississippi does not assume the financial burden of incarceration unless or until there is a conviction. Johnson estimates that Mississippi counties pay more than $100 million per year detaining people prior to their criminal trials. “Based on the number of inmates appearing on the lists produced by Mississippi sheriffs, and assuming a conservative daily incarceration rate of $50 per day per inmate, we estimate that Mississippi counties collectively pay more than $270,000 each day and $100 million per year to incarcerate the people housed in their jails.”

Jackson civil rights and criminal defense attorney Rob McDuff noted additional consequences of the system, “Many of these people stuck in our county jails are not dangerous and will never be convicted, and some won’t even be indicted by a grand jury.  Because of Mississippi’s system of lengthy pre-trial incarceration, innocent people can and will lose their jobs and their homes, and they have to start over with nothing when they return to their local communities.  If they remain free pending trial, as is the case for the vast majority of people charged in the federal system, they will not suffer those terrible economic and social consequences.”

In addition to the litigation efforts of the MacArthur Justice Center, successful challenges to bail practices in Mississippi have been brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, and Civil Rights Corps. Those cases attacked the imposition of bail without consideration of factors such as personal flight risk, danger to the community, or financial condition.

The importance of the database in continuing the fight against wealth-based detention has been acknowledged by others bringing civil rights cases in Mississippi. “Transparency is key,” said Sam Brooke, Deputy Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  “So much of our pretrial detention is based simply on a person’s inability to pay­.  But often, robust public data about the full extent of the problem is lacking.  This new database will help provide that data and highlight where the biggest problems are, and allow advocates and judicial administrators to focus on commonsense solutions to ending discrimination based on poverty. This is an important step in helping Mississippi fix its two-tiered system of justice.”

Brandon Buskey, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU Criminal Justice Project in New York, added, “We need this badly, not only in Mississippi, but across the country. When we think of ‘indefinite detention without trial,’ places like Guantanamo Bay typically come to mind. This database shows that the same abuses are happening right here at home. It’s now time for the state of Mississippi to pick up where this critical database leaves off, and continue to make this data public.”

The MacArthur Justice Center asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to adopt a new rule as part of the recently-enacted Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure that would have limited the amount of time a person can be held in jail prior to a formal indictment, but the Court declined to do so. Johnson says they will continue to push for that reform. The Center also will ask the Mississippi Legislature to pass a bill next year requiring a uniform system for reporting Mississippi jail data and establishing a state-maintained, publicly-available database similar to the one created by the MacArthur Justice Clinic.

We have now received February 2018 Bar Passage Results from MS.  We congratulate our first time takers who passed at a rate of 73.4%.  This percentage is substantially higher than the state average and substantially higher than UM’s passage rate in February 2017. Repeat takers continue to struggle statewide. Although we celebrate our alumni that passed the bar, we will continue to evaluate how to get that percentage even higher. Our initiatives we recently passed will hopefully result in even better results going forward. Our focus has always been and will continue to be preparing our students for life after law school and giving students the keys they need to succeed both on the bar exam and in practice or their chosen careers.


Susan H. Duncan
Dean of the Law School

Tobi Young, a 2003 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law and an adjunct professor, has been selected as a U.S. Supreme Court clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Young, who graduated with high honors, will serve during the Supreme Court’s 2018-19 term. She is the first female graduate of the law school to clerk for the Supreme Court; the last Ole Miss Law alumnus to clerk there served over 30 years ago. W. Wayne Drinkwater (JD 1974) clerked for Chief Justice Warren Burger during the 1975-76 term, and the Honorable Rhesa Barksdale (JD 1972), currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, clerked for Justice Byron White during the 1972-73 term. Coincidentally, Justice Gorsuch also clerked for Justice White, as well as Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“The law school is so excited for Tobi, who has been an excellent professor and mentor to our students,” said Susan Duncan, UM law dean. “She has had an incredible career thus far, and we know she will be excellent in this position.”

Young first met Justice Gorsuch while working at the Department of Justice. He helped oversee the Civil Rights Division, where Young worked initially as a trial lawyer and then as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. Gorsuch later recommended her as a clerk to Judge Jerome A. Holmes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Gorsuch also was appointed to the Tenth Circuit in 2006.

“After my clerkship, my husband and I kept in touch with then-Judge Gorsuch during his 10 years on the bench,” Young said. “He would occasionally send us articles he wrote, and when we visited Denver, he always made time to join us for lunch or visit with us in his chambers. When I learned he was going to be announced as the next Supreme Court nominee, I joined a few former colleagues and traveled to D.C. to assist with his confirmation.”

Young recalls Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation process as both exhilarating and exhausting. “We worked around the clock for nearly three months. I was fortunate enough to be at the White House when he was announced as the nominee by President Trump, and it was such an inspiring moment watching a mentor accept the nomination with such humility and humor.”

Tobi and Evan Young

It’s common for newer justices to bring in former clerks and colleagues in their first few years on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch asked Young if she was interested in clerking for him, an idea that she hadn’t even considered.

But, as Young put it, “How can you turn down an opportunity to clerk at the Supreme Court? It’s not a prospect I had ever pursued, but it was such an honor for him to have placed his trust in me. I’m excited to work for him, and lucky to have an amazing support system that enables me to be a mother and take this position.”

Young’s husband, Evan, who also is an adjunct professor at the Ole Miss law school and a partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia during the 2004-05 term.

“Evan still frequently refers to his experiences at the Court and with Justice Scalia, who also had a great affinity for Mississippi. Being Justice Scalia’s clerk transformed his life and the way he approaches the practice of law,” she said. “If he is still buzzing about his clerkship, there must be something magical to that experience.”

Young is currently general counsel in the Office of President George W. Bush, as well as general counsel and board secretary for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Before that, she was an associate White House Counsel under President Bush.

“I am extremely grateful to President and Mrs. Bush for their example and for having given me the opportunity to work for and with them for over a decade. Having practiced law in both the government and the private sector, I have experienced the profession as more than a theoretical puzzle. I hope this real-world experience will help me serve Justice Gorsuch well,” Young said.

Young excelled during her time at Ole Miss and was even asked to give the Commencement speech for the 2016 School of Law graduation.

“I truly enjoyed my time at Ole Miss, and appreciate the support that has continued,” she said. “My professors taught me the fundamentals of the law, while also consistently emphasizing the importance of upholding the ethical expectations of our field – an area lawyers can never underscore enough. That’s a topic that Evan and I focus on with our Ole Miss students.”

This spring, Young and her husband are teaching a class together entitled “Uncle Sam Wants You?” Their course focuses on the opportunities for and ethical responsibilities of lawyers who work at any level of government. As professors, they feel that not only teaching the curriculum, but also being a mentor to their students, is vital.

“We could not have been more impressed with the engagement level and the intellectual curiosity of this class,” she said. “We hope to continue being involved with the law school for many years to come.”

By Jordan Thomas

The Class of 2018 at the University of Mississippi School of Law has presented a class gift to the law school, setting the stage for a new tradition. Students collectively decided that their gift would honor Dean Joshua M. Morse III (LLB ’48), who challenged segregation in the 1960s.

“This was based on several factors, including 2018 as the 70th anniversary of Morse’s graduation from the law school and recognizing his great influence at the school during a tumultuous and troubled time in our history,” said Brittany Barbee, one of the leaders of the Class Gift Committee.

Morse was a pioneer who played a major role in shaping the direction of the school. His efforts included extending legal education opportunities in Mississippi, making the School of Law accessible to all people, regardless of race, gender and socio-economic status.

To honor Morse, the reading room in the Grisham Law Library will be named after him and his portrait will hang there.

So far, the committee has raised more than $3,600. Seventy-three percent of the class has given, with a goal of reaching 75 percent. The committee also secured matching gifts from alumni.

Susan Duncan, the school’s dean, commends the class on its willingness to participate in the campaign.

“I am so incredibly proud of the Class of 2018 for their initiative in naming the library reading room after Dean Joshua Morse, and I’m also thankful to them for starting this new tradition of class gifts,” Duncan said. “The fact that they are not only donating money themselves, but are also getting their gifts matched, speaks volumes to their leadership.”

The Class of 2018 includes 122 students who have grown together academically and professionally over the past three years. This departing gift is their way of leaving a legacy, no matter where they end up.

“I feel like this class gift serves two purposes,” said Ned Nelson, a third-generation Ole Miss law student and a member of the Class Gift Committee. “First, to commemorate a truly admirable figure in our school’s history and second, to establish a sense of pride in giving back to the school that has given us so much more than an education.”

Donors are encouraged to participate regardless of the amount. The final amount raised will be tripled by generous donors. Donations can be made at

In the wake of destruction in Jacksonville, Alabama, two Ole Miss law students took it upon themselves to help the community heal.

A tornado with winds up to 150 miles per hour devastated the Jacksonville area March 19, leaving many school buildings and student apartments at Jacksonville State University without power and others condemned after suffering severe external damage. In the wake of the tornado, the University of Mississippi Student Bar Association (SBA) is taking donations of money and school supplies to assist JSU students transitioning back to school.

“Why? Because my fellow students have a heart for philanthropy, and we all recognize that we could just as easily be in these students’ shoes,” said Chloe Kennedy, one of two law students leading the campaign.

Second-year UM law student Marilyn Higdon graduated from Jacksonville State University as a psychology major in 2014. When the tornado hit her alma mater several weeks ago, she was devastated.

“Luckily, there was no loss of life because the students were on spring break,” Higdon said. “However, there were still some students there, and several of them were injured. I know one individual lost his arm.”

Both Higdon and Kennedy agreed that JSU had done so much in their lives, and they felt an obligation to give back to the school in its time of need.

“Sitting watching the news, you know, you just get that helpless feeling,” Higdon said. “You see your home, your alma mater, the place where you spent four years of your life in school, and you see complete destruction headed its way.”

Kennedy said she felt the work was necessary to complete.

“In my mind, it goes along with the saying ‘to whom much is given, much is expected,’” she said. “As a result, I feel like it’s not just important to do this work, but it’s my duty.”

Instead of letting helplessness win, Higdon and Kennedy contacted the JSU alumni coordinator and Board of Trustees to ask what they could do to help the school and the student body to recover.

“The response we got back from both was that mostly what’s needed right now is everyday supplies that students need to go back and forth from class: phone chargers, water bottles, backpacks, those types of things,” Higdon said.

The pair has set up a collections box for goods and a monetary donations box inside the law school. The drive will continue through the end of this spring semester.

Higdon said she recognizes how difficult it is sometimes for students to make charitable donations, and that is the reason behind organizing the goods drive as well.

“You know, we are all just broke college students,” Higdon said. “Sometimes we don’t have 20 bucks to give. However, we may have a bunch of phone chargers or something, so if anyone wants to donate a good, that is also so greatly appreciated.”

While there is no list of specifically needed items, Higdon asks students to think of items they use daily.

“Imagine anything in your apartment, if your whole apartment was wiped out and wet, that you would need to be able to go to class and finish the semester,” she said. “That’s what JSU students need right now.”

As a result of the tornado damage, many JSU students don’t have anywhere to live and are struggling to finish out the semester.

“This drive is just giving some type of ease to the students getting back to a normal way of life,” Higdon said. “Sometimes the little things that we can give are the most important.”

Anyone who wishes to contribute can email Kennedy at


By: Hadley Hitson, Daily Mississippian


The Student Bar Association recently announced the recipients of the 2018 Spring Awards. Each year, the SBA awards the Outstanding Law Professor of the Year Award, the Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award, and the Dean’s Distinguished Service Awards.

Outstanding Law Professor of the Year Award

Professor Donna Davis has been named the Outstanding Law Professor of the Year for 2017-2018. Professor Davis joined the faculty in 1990 and has taught numerous tax courses, first-year contracts and contract-drafting, and the low-income taxpayer clinical program.

Each year, the Student Bar Association selects the Outstanding Law Professor of the Year from among the faculty teaching at the law school. As this year’s recipient, Professor Davis was chosen by a Committee of students appointed by the SBA President, Allison Bruff.

Nominations were taken from the student body for a period of two weeks. The Committee then reviewed all nominations and ultimately selected Professor Davis. The Outstanding Law Professor of the Year Award is a long-standing, honorable tradition of our law school, and the Student Bar Association is proud to announce Professor Davis as this year’s honoree.

Patrick Huston (Class of 2018) is one of the nine students who served on the Committee overseeing the selection process for this award.

“There is no one more deserving of this award than Professor Davis,” said Huston. “She is an amazing professor that goes above and beyond to ensure her students learn and understand a complicated subject such as Tax. However, what makes her truly outstanding is what she does outside of the classroom. Besides mentoring tax students like myself, she is someone who devotes countless hours to the school’s Tax Clinic, providing a valuable service to the Oxford community. The Law School and its students are truly blessed to have a professor here like Professor Davis.”

In addition to Huston, those who served on this year’s Committee include Kent Aldenderfer, Mike Jones, Victoria Jones, Laura K. Cooper, Michael Farese, Caroline Loveless, Yance Falkner, and Gregory Starks.


Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award        

Cassandra Latimer has been selected as the Outstanding Staff Member of the Year. Cassandra joined the staff in 2016 as the Director of Career Services at the law school and is currently in her second year as Director.

The Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award honors a member of the law school staff each year. The SBA Senate, comprised of three Senators from each law school class, nominates and votes on this award each spring semester.

“Cassandra demonstrates genuine kindness to everyone she encounters,” said Jonathan Barnes, a 3L Senator for the Student Bar Association. “Whether you’re a student, alumni, or employer, one conversation with Cassandra will leave you encouraged in your job outlook, inspired to give back, or convinced that Ole Miss law students are the real deal. I can’t imagine another person I’d rather have on my side when making the transition from student to attorney.”


Dean’s Distinguished Service Award

The Dean’s Distinguished Service Award recipients for 2017-2018 are Brittany Barbee, Will Graves, Chloe Kennedy, and Kelley Killorin. Every spring, the SBA Senate selects three third-year law students to receive this award. This year, however, the Senate chose to recognize four students in the Class of 2018 for their exceptional service and leadership at the law school.

Brittany Barbee

Brittany Barbee has provided endless support and energy to student body initiatives as a three-term Senator, as well as serving as the school’s American Bar Association-Law Student Division Representative this year. She has been a competing member of the Trial Advocacy Board since 2016. While also serving as the Business Manager of the Mississippi Law Journal, Brittany co-founded the Czar’s Coffee Klatch series as well as the Class Gift Committee this year.

Will Graves

Will Graves lent his editing and design talents in service to the SBA for the past few years, creating and managing numerous apparel orders and assisting with the SBA’s 2017 rebrand. Evidenced by his leadership in the Christian Legal Society, his contagious positive attitude, and his constant presence and support in student events, Will’s tenure at Ole Miss Law will be marked by selfless service to the student body and school.

Chloe Kennedy served her second term this year as the SBA Treasurer, overseeing the annual appropriations process and managing student body finances. In addition to her role as an SBA Executive Officer, she served on the newly established 3L Class Gift Committee and has previously fulfilled the role of Student Representative on the faculty’s Curriculum & Practices Committee. Chloe has also been a

Chloe Kennedy

competing member of the Trial Advocacy Board for the past two years.

Kelley Killorin also returned as an Executive Officer of the Student Bar Association this year, serving as the two-term Social Chair and organizing the entire SBA social event calendar. Kelley previously represented the law school student body on the Associated Student Body Senate during her 1L year. For the past two years, Kelley has been an Editor for the Mississippi Sports Law Review, and she served on its Executive Board this year as the Business Editor.

Kelley Killorin

“As a classmate and colleague, I am proud to announce these four as the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award recipients for 2017-2018,” said Bruff. “I often boast about how remarkable all of my classmates are, and I can only imagine how difficult it was for the Senate to decide on this year’s awards. Brittany, Will, Chloe, and Kelley are truly exceptional individuals and inspirational servant-leaders. On behalf of the student body and this institution, we thank you for what you have done these past three years.”

Professor Matthew Hall has been named the recipient of this year’s Ben A. Hardy Faculty Excellence Award, which is chosen annually by the Dean of the Law School and the President of the Student Bar Association.

“Professor Hall is very deserving of this award. Both students and graduates often comment on what an outstanding teacher he is,” said Susan Duncan, dean of the law school. “He is well-organized, clear in his presentation, engaging, and available to students outside of class. I am proud to have Professor Hall as a colleague.”

In addition to teaching full time, Hall was instrumental in the implementation of the law school’s unique 1L Winter Intersession Course in Contract Drafting and Negotiation. As the coordinator for the program, he oversees all five sections and teaches a section himself.

Hall also works closely with the Moot Court program and is a driving force behind the law school’s rise in the ranks of nationally recognized advocacy programs. Through his hard work restructuring the program and preparing teams for competitions, the law school continues to win National Championships.

“It is deeply flattering to receive the Hardy Award, especially considering the talent and commitment across the faculty,” said Hall. “UM Law’s engaged students definitely bring out the best in all of us.”

Hall joined the Law School faculty in 2001. He is the Jesse D. Puckett, Jr. Lecturer, and his scholarly interests focus on the intersection of immigration law, criminal law and procedure, and national security law. He teaches a variety of classes including Property, Legislation, Criminal Procedure II, and Federal Trial Practice. Prior to his time at UM Law, Hall worked as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Mississippi Law Journal is putting together a special issue featuring several works focused on Mississippi legal history, including articles written by Antonia Eliason, a University of Mississippi professor of law, U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills and former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James L. Robertson.

“We are very excited to be publishing this special Mississippi-focused issue,” said James Kelly, the journal’s editor-in-chief. “The articles in the book tell the stories of people who have helped shape our state’s history and law.

“We are so proud to be bringing these stories to print and are very grateful to the authors for sharing them.”

Eliason’s article, titled “Lillian McMurry and the Blues Contracts of Trumpet Records,” focuses on a Jackson-based record company established and run by Lillian McMurry from 1950 to 1955. McMurry was a pioneering businesswoman who discovered and signed some of the most prominent artists in the blues genre, including Sonny Boy Williamson and Elmore James.

“Lillian McMurry has become a hero of mine; her picture hangs in my office to remind me of the strength of character and compassion that she demonstrated as the head of Trumpet Records,” Eliason said. “After spending so much time in the archives reading her correspondences with the artists that she signed, I feel like I’ve come to know her personally.

“She had a remarkable ear for talent despite a lack of musical training, and supported her artists, even after the record label dissolved.”

Drawing on archival material, the article demonstrates a progressing level of sophistication for the young record label, as well as the ways in which McMurry’s business practices helped promote increased fairness and transparency in recording contracts.

“At a time when there were so few female players in any capacity in the recording industry, she broke barriers while avoiding the rapacious practices of many record label executives,” Eliason said. “She also treated all of her artists the same, irrespective of race, even though she was operating the highly segregated milieu of 1950s Mississippi.

“I hope that through my article, more people will come to know Lillian McMurry’s story. She was a truly exceptional woman and someone who will remain a source of inspiration in my life.”

The article “Dry September Revisited,” written by Mills, chronicles the stories of a group of Mississippi legislators who stood up against Walter Sillers, the powerful speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, after he invited Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker to address the Legislature.

The legislators opposed Walker’s speech because of his role in working to block James Meredith’s entry into UM.

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James L. Robertson’s work, “Only People Were Slaves,” recounts the story of an early freedom-by-residence case brought by a group of slaves. The case, decided in 1818, is notable as the first known instance in which the court of last resort in a Southern slave state ruled that the slaves were free.

The article features the first publication of several original archival sources and is adapted from a chapter in Robertson’s forthcoming book, “Heroes, Rascals and the Law: Constitutional Encounters in Mississippi,” which is being published by the University Press of Mississippi.

The themed edition of the Mississippi Law Journal is slated for release in April.

The UM Law Firm challenge is officially underway, and Adams and Reese LLP of Jackson is the first firm to reach 100 percent giving among alumni. William C. Barbec, a 1983 UM Law graduate, was elected as the team captain for this challenge and worked to encourage all of his alumni to participate. Barbec credits Dean Duncan for inspiring him to donate.

“Dean Duncan informed us of the importance of alumni giving in the law school evaluation process,” said Barbec. “She said that only four percent of law school alumni give regularly to the school. Most of us had no idea that alumni giving was any factor in law school rankings.”

Along with his partner, Gee Ogletree, they completed the challenge in only five weeks.

“We quickly accepted Dean Duncan’s challenge to us,” said Ogletree. “We believe that fundraising will play an increasingly important role in the future of all law schools and we support Dean Duncan as she continues the law school’s tradition of excellence and takes it to new heights.”

According to Duncan, the UM Law Firm Challenge was created as a way to get alumni involved in giving to the law school.

“We are so proud of Adams and Reese for being the first firm to achieve 100 percent giving among alumni. They truly took the challenge to heart and did a great job quickly getting their alumni to support the initiative,” said Duncan. “We hope that their success will encourage other firms to reach 100 percent.”

Adams and Reese based their participation on their core values, which involve many factors including growth, respect, excellence, accountability, and teamwork. These values drove Barbec through the process.

“Our firm always encourages excellence and philanthropy,” said Barbec. “Also, being a regional firm, with alumni from all over the Southeast, there is a lot of competitive spirit between the alumni of the various SEC schools.” Adams and Reese has set the stage for the other 19 Mississippi law firms to participate and compete. Adams and Reese’s donation is directly supporting students and numerous initiatives through the UM School of Law.

For more information on the UM Law Firm Challenge, visit here.

Business experts from the University of Mississippi and the local community will lead a discussion Wednesday (Feb. 28) about questions potential business owners need to investigate before forming a limited liability company.

Part of the Spark Series, the panel discussion is titled “Questions You Should Ask Before You Begin Your Business.” The event, set for 4 p.m. in the Jackson Avenue Center, Auditorium A, is free and open to the public with no registration necessary.

The panel includes Marie Saliba Cope, UM assistant dean for student affairs, assistant clinical professor at the UM School of Law and director of the Transactional Clinic; Neil Olson, former general counsel with mortgage technology company FNC Inc., and startup and tech business consultant; Will Wilkins, director of the Mississippi Law Research Institute; and Allyson Best, director of the UM Division of Technology Management.

Following the presentation, the panel will be available for individual conversations during an ask-the-expert reception.

“The local community is fortunate to have so many resources for entrepreneurs and technology commercialization efforts, but if you’re new to this world, it can be a little daunting,” Best said. “We have noticed there are critical points in the process where it’s valuable to stop and consider your options. This series is intended to spark those conversations.”

The event will attempt to answer a number of questions and cover scenarios aspiring owners should investigate before proceeding. Topics for the Wednesday panel include ownership rights and control, independent contractors vs. employees, intellectual property ownership, investor funding and tax issues.

“(This event) has been created to educate entrepreneurs about legal issues,” Cope said. “For our first event, our hope is that attendees will begin to address the issues that arise when one begins a business.

“We have found that people begin working and jump into business relationships without defining the ownership interest or roles that the members or partners will hold. Our goal is to assist people in planning before they start so that they can avoid conflicts that may arise from misunderstandings.”

Another Spark Series event is scheduled for April, time and place to be announced. The event will focus on e-commerce, with topics including legal considerations, digital marketing and more.

The Spark Series – intended to inspire, discover and transform – is not intended to be a typical training session, Best said. And Wednesday’s event is important for anyone interested in forming a business entity, even if they have already filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Sponsors of the Spark Series include the Division of Technology Management, School of Law, the Mississippi Law Research Institute, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Insight Park, the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation and the Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute.

The University of Mississippi will host an American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources policy symposium on Thursday, March 8. This year’s ABA-SEER symposium is entitled “Shifting Policies for a Shifting Environment: Environmental Policy Symposium.”

In the midst of significant environmental changes triggered by shifts in climate, population, and natural resources, changes in party control of the White House and Senate have sparked a drastic and unpredictable shift in course for environmental law and policy. This symposium explores how these two transformative forces, shifts in environmental factors and political changes, are converging and what new paths may lie ahead.

Topics for discussion at the symposium include: an overview of shifting EPA positions under the Clean Water Act, potential implications for jurisdictional wetlands determinations, and the status of litigation challenges to the WOTUS rule; the Clean Air Act in a shifting regulatory environment; analysis of interstate disputes relating to water quantity and flood control and how they relate to endangered species issues; and key regulatory policy changes that will impact the state/federal relationship in environmental regulatory matters.

The symposium will open with remarks delivered by John Milner, the chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Milner, a partner at Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes in Jackson, is a 1978 graduate of the Ole Miss Law School and was instrumental in the selection of the Law School to host the symposium.

Ole Miss Law Professors Stephanie Showalter Otts and David Case were members of the ABA-SEER symposium planning committee, appointed to that role by Milner. Professor Case is also a featured speaker on the Shifting Resources: Who Gets What? Panel.

For more information about the symposium and a complete list of speakers, visit

Kelsey Dismukes has been elected as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 88 of the Mississippi Law Journal. She is a native of Starkville and is the daughter of Hurston A. and Debra S. Nicholas.

Dismukes is a second-year law student at the University of Mississippi School of Law and is a member of the law school’s Negotiation Board. She received her bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Mississippi State University.

After her first year of law school, Dismukes worked as a summer associate at Balch & Bingham in Gulfport, Mississippi and Forman Watkins & Krutz in Jackson, Mississippi. Additionally, she has served as a judicial intern to United States District Judge Michael P. Mills in Oxford, Mississippi.

This summer, she will be working as a summer associate at Bass Berry & Sims in Memphis, Tennessee.

The University of Mississippi School of Law will host a Marin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration Panel Wednesday, January 31, at 12:30 p.m. in Weems Auditorium. This year’s program is entitled “Slavery, Civil Rights, and King’s Legacy.” Panelists will focus on slavery and its connections to the legacy of Dr. King.

“This year marks our eighth annual Martin Luther King Day Commemoration Panel, and we feel it is important to host this event each year to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King,” said Michele Alexandre, associate dean of the Law School. “This year, we have an excellent panel who focus their scholarship and research on slavery and civil rights.”

Panelists for the event are members of the UM Slavery Group and include Professor Jeffrey T. Jackson (Sociology and Anthropology), Professor Marc H. Lerner (History), Professor Jennie Lightweis-Goff (English), and Professor Anne Twitty (History). The event is free and open to the public. Off campus attendees will need to obtain a visitor parking permit before arriving. For more information, visit here.


The University of Mississippi School of Law mourns the passing of two distinguished alumni – Jack F. Dunbar (LL.B. 1957) and Raymond L. Brown (LL.B. 1962). Dunbar and Brown were supporters of Ole Miss Law and active members of the legal profession in Mississippi, both serving as President of the Mississippi Bar Association.

“Although I am new to the Mississippi legal community, it did not take me long to realize what legends both these men were. The law school is very proud of all their professional achievements and their commitment to public service throughout their lives,” said Susan Duncan, dean of the law school. “Our hope is that all of our graduates give back to their profession and communities as these men did. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

Jack Dunbar

Dunbar, a native of Indianola, graduated valedictorian of the Law School and served as the President of the Law School Student Body and the Associate Editor of the Mississippi Law Journal. He later served as an adjunct professor of law in civil procedure and trial practice. In 2010, he was named Alumnus of the Year, and in 2011, he was inducted into the University of Mississippi School of Law Hall of Fame.

He began his law practice in Clarksdale with Sullivan Dunbar and Smith before moving to Oxford in 1978 and joining what is now known as Holcomb, Dunbar, Watts, Best, Masters and Golmon, P.A. Dunbar served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Mississippi Bar in 2010.

An active member of his community, he was named Oxford Citizen of the Year in 1990 for his work in the strategic plan for the community hospital. In 2012, the Oxford School District named Dunbar Citizen of the Year for efforts to help children in need of eye care. The Jack Dunbar Scholarship Fund has been set up in his memory at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

For Dunbar’s full obituary, visit here.

Raymond L. Brown

Brown, a native of Greenville, MS, played both football and baseball during his undergraduate years at Ole Miss. While earning his law degree, he played three years of professional football with the Baltimore Colts, attending, alternately, Ole Miss and Maryland law schools. During law school, he was inducted into Phi Delta Phi honorary fraternity and wrote for the law journal.

After graduating from law school, Brown clerked for Justice Tom Clark of the United States Supreme Court before returning home to practice in his home state. He served as President of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and President of the Ole Miss Law Alumni. Brown was inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame, the University of Mississippi Law Alumni Hall of Fame, and the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also recognized with Lifetime Achievement awards by both the Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association.

Brown was active in his community serving on many committees and organizations in Pascagoula. He served as attorney for the Pascagoula Municipal School District for thirty years. In 1964 he was named Young Man of the Year in Pascagoula. To honor his dedication to the University of Mississippi School of Law, friends and colleagues of Brown started the Raymond L. Brown Scholarship Endowment, a three-year academic scholarship to be awarded to an entering law student.

For Brown’s full obituary, visit here.

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) will reinstate the driver’s licenses of all Mississippi drivers whose licenses were suspended due to non-payment of fines, fees, or assessments, and will no longer suspend licenses simply because a person fails to make such court-ordered payments. DPS will continue to suspend driver’s licenses for all other reasons available under Mississippi law. The change in policy was announced today by the DPS, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Under the new procedures, DPS will also waive its $100 reinstatement fee, will notify these drivers that their licenses are no longer suspended and—if their licenses have expired since they were suspended—will instruct motorists how to reinstate them. The process of reinstating driving privileges for affected drivers is expected to start in January, and letters will be sent to all drivers who benefit from the new policy. DPS has hired dedicated staff to restore the affected licenses. Drivers with a suspended license should wait until they receive written confirmation from DPS that their license has been reinstated before driving.

Additionally, DPS will no longer suspend licenses solely for non-payment. Drivers with multiple reasons for suspension will have non-payment removed from their driving records as a basis for suspension, and DPS will notify them regarding the reason their licenses remain suspended. Those other reasons for suspension will remain in place and the license will remain suspended until the driver gets those other reasons for suspension cleared.

According to DPS, this official policy will remain in place unless and until future significant developments occur, such as a statutory change. Drivers impacted by this policy are not relieved of any existing obligation to pay fines, fees, or assessments.

Marshall Fisher, Director of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, commented, “We will continue to suspend licenses for other reasons allowed under Mississippi law, and we certainly take it seriously when people drive with suspended licenses. The reinstatement of these licenses will not relieve the drivers of the legal obligation to pay the fines, fees, or assessments. Driver’s licenses will continue to be suspended for all other reasons available under Mississippi law, including but not limited to suspension pursuant to a court order finding a driver in contempt for failure to pay a fine or fee or failure to respond to a traffic summons or citation.” Fisher added, “The process of discontinuing suspension of licenses due solely to the nonpayment of fines, fees or assessments will remain in place until future significant developments occur, such as a statutory amendment.”

SPLC and the MacArthur Justice Center contend that Mississippi courts have not been following the law regarding collection of fines and fees, and both entities have been pursuing litigation throughout Mississippi addressing the rights of indigent defendants.

“We commend the state of Mississippi for taking steps to ensure that in the future, no one will lose their license if the only reason they failed to pay a traffic ticket is that they simply did not have enough money,” said Sam Brooke, SPLC deputy legal director. “We also welcome Mississippi’s decision to reinstate licenses that had been previously suspended because people were unable to pay.

“Poverty is not a traffic crime,” Brooke continued. “There is a growing recognition across the country that people should not face additional punishment just because of their poverty, and that includes taking away their driver’s licenses when they can’t pay fines.”

The policy changes came about after the SPLC and the MacArthur Justice Center raised concerns about the practices.

“Being poor in Mississippi is hard enough without having your license suspended just because you can’t afford to pay off outstanding fines,” said Cliff Johnson, director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law. “We don’t have subways or other reliable public transportation in Mississippi, and a suspended license makes it impossible to legally drive to job interviews, take loved ones to the hospital, pick your kids up from school, or even go to church.”

It is estimated that more than 100,000 license holders are affected by this policy change. Licenses suspended for other reasons allowed under Mississippi law will remain suspended.

People who have questions about the status of their Mississippi driver’s license can call 601-987-1224 for more information.





The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see


The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is a public interest law firm with offices in Chicago (Northwestern Law School), St. Louis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Oxford, Mississippi (University of Mississippi School of Law). The MacArthur Justice Center litigates a wide range of civil rights cases, with particular emphasis in the area of criminal justice.   


Indigent Defendants are Forced to Pay or Sit Out Their Time in Jail

According to a federal class-action lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law, the City of Corinth, Mississippi and Municipal Court Judge John C. Ross are operating a modern-day debtors’ prison, unlawfully jailing poor people for their inability to pay bail and fines

“Even though debtors’ prisons have been outlawed in this country for more than 200 years, Corinth is running a jail from the Dark Ages in one of the nation’s poorest regions – it’s shameful,” said Sam Brooke, deputy legal director for the SPLC.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi Aberdeen Division, describes how Judge Ross and the city of Corinth routinely violate the constitutional rights of people facing misdemeanor or municipal charges by holding them in jail until they pay bail money or their fine, without taking into account their ability to pay, as required by law.

Brian Keith Howell, a 28-year-old man whose leg was amputated following a car accident, was arrested Nov. 27 on a warrant for three minor traffic violations. On Dec. 4, Judge Ross assessed a $1,000 fine after Howell pleaded guilty to the traffic tickets and told Howell that he had to pay the amount in full or sit out the equivalent amount of the fine in jail – 50 days.

“Mr. Howell tried to tell the judge that he was working on getting disability and could not pay the fine right away, but Judge Ross wouldn’t listen,” Brooke said.  “Judge Ross just told Mr. Howell his fine amount and sent him back to jail.”

Because Judge Ross only holds court on Mondays, people who have been arrested can languish in jail for a week or longer before their initial court appearance to determine probable cause and assess conditions of release.

Sammy Dwight Brown, a 35-year-old man living on a small disability check, was arrested on Dec. 1 for public intoxication. Currently, his bail is set at $600 and he will have to wait until Dec. 11 for a hearing, even though the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure requires an initial appearance within 48-hours of arrest for any person who is not released on their own recognizance.

Once defendants make it to court, Judge Ross asks if they admit to or deny the charges. Persons who admit to the charges are assessed a fine and required to pay at least a sizeable down payment. If the individual cannot pay, they are required to sit out their fine at a rate of $25 per day. Judge Ross makes no inquiry into their ability to pay, and does not inform them of their right to counsel prior to jailing them for non-payment, according to a SPLC investigation.

The SPLC and MacArthur Justice Center have been investigating the court’s practices over the last year. Over the course of the investigation, the groups encountered many indigent defendants who were either threatened with jail time or spent a considerable amount of time in jail for their inability to pay court-imposed fines and costs.

Latonya James, an unemployed mother, appeared before Judge Ross on Aug. 14 for a school attendance violation charge involving her daughter who is struggling with bipolar disorder. In July, Judge Ross ordered James to pay $100 toward her fine of $163.25 by August 14. When she informed Judge Ross that she could not make the payment, he gave her a notice to hand to the clerk’s office that read, “$100 today or jail.” She was not allowed to leave the clerk’s office, where she was threatened with jail, until her brother drove two hours to pay the $100.

The illegal practices of Judge Ross and the Corinth Municipal Court are especially problematic because the Mississippi Supreme Court recently passed new rules designed specifically to prohibit these practices.  The Rules of Criminal Procedure set up detailed procedures for courts to follow when addressing inability to pay. The Corinth Municipal Court is ignoring them.

“Despite being told repeatedly by the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Judicial College to stop locking up Mississippians who are too poor to pay their fines in large lump sums and are not able to buy their way out of jail by paying a pre-determined amount of money bail, a disturbing number of judges in Mississippi defiantly refuse to comply with the law,” said Cliff Johnson, director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law.  “The MacArthur Justice Center and other civil rights organizations like the SPLC will keep filing lawsuits and judicial performance complaints until these judges, and the cities and counties that ratify and facilitate their practices, decide to abide by the law and the express instructions of Mississippi’s highest court.”

Lawyers for the SPLC and the MacArthur Justice Center submitted a separate complaint regarding Judge Ross’s conduct to the Commission on Judicial Performance, as part of their legal obligation under the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is a public interest law firm with offices in Chicago (Northwestern Law School), St. Louis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Oxford, Mississippi (University of Mississippi School of Law). The MacArthur Justice Center litigates a wide range of civil rights cases, with particular emphasis in the area of criminal justice.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see

James Forman Jr. to provide a critical look at the criminal justice system

Photo by: Harold Shapiro

The University of Mississippi will host James Forman Jr., author of the acclaimed new book “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” for a series of lectures and events Tuesday (Nov. 14) on campus.

Forman, a professor at the Yale Law School, will speak at the UM School of Law’s Weems Auditorium at 12:45 p.m., followed by a book signing. He speaks again at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, with a reception following. All events are free and open to the public.

Forman teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and criminal law policy, constitutional law, juvenile justice, and education law and policy. He is particularly interested in schools, prisons and police.

“I’ve known James for all of my professional career as a lawyer,” said Tucker Carrington, UM assistant professor of law and director of the George C. Cochran Innocence Project. “I was fortunate to be his colleague when we were both public defenders in D.C.

“Professor Forman will downplay his talent, but he was a superb trial lawyer – whip-smart, personable, thoughtful and deeply passionate about his clients and their plight. Juries got it immediately; they loved him. He has brought those same qualities to his teaching and to the subject matter of his new book: the complex reasons behind our national problem with over-incarceration.”

For the Overby Center program, Carrington will conduct a conversation on social issues with Forman.

“We believe it will be a provocative program and a strong way to wind up our fall series,” said Curtis Wilkie, the university’s Overby fellow.

After graduating from Brown University and Yale Law School, Forman clerked for Judge William Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. He then joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes.

During his time as a public defender, Forman became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. In 1997, he, along with David Domenici, started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. The school has since expanded and is run inside D.C.’s juvenile prison.

“Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017) argues that law enforcement initiatives by black officials have had devastating consequences for black communities. The book has been listed on the National Book Award Longlist, among other critical praise.

Forman’s book will be available for purchase at the Law School Tuesday. For more information, contact Carrington at 662-915-5207 or

By Jordan Thomas