Show Notes: A Prosecutor’s Path to Criminal Justice Reform

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Season 2: When Law Changed the World

The second season of “Common Law” explores pivotal moments when law — and lawyers — changed the world. Hosts Risa Goluboff and Leslie Kendrick look back at turning points that shed light on the world today and how we got here. MORE

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Joyce White Vance
S2 E6: A Prosecutor’s Path to Criminal Justice Reform

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance ’85 discusses a revolution in how prosecutors are thinking about and pursuing justice.

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Show Notes: A Prosecutor’s Path to Criminal Justice Reform

Joyce White Vance

Joyce White Vance is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. She served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017. She was nominated for that position by President Barack Obama in May of 2009 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in August of 2009. Vance served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was co-chair of its Criminal Practice Subcommittee. As U.S. Attorney, she was responsible for overseeing all federal criminal investigations and prosecutions in north Alabama, including matters involving civil rights, national security, cybercrime, public corruption, health care and corporate fraud, violent crime and drug trafficking. She was also responsible for affirmative and defensive civil litigation on behalf of the government and for all federal criminal and civil appeals. 

Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Vance served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Birmingham for 18 years. She spent 10 years as a criminal prosecutor before moving to the Appellate Division in 2002. She became the chief of that division in 2005. Prior to her work as a federal prosecutor, she spent six years as a litigator in private practice, first at Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn in Washington D.C., and then at Bradley, Arant, Rose & White, now Bradley, Arant, Boult & Cummings, in Birmingham. Vance received a B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of law. She is a frequent legal commentator on MSNBC and other news outlets.

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