Recent Initiatives Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Updated March 2021


Faculty and Administrative Hiring

  • Mark Jefferson has been hired as the Law School’s inaugural assistant dean for diversity, equity and belonging.
  • Faculty hiring in 2020-21 includes Jay Butler, Danielle Citron, Craig Konnoth and others still to be announced.
  • Three additional faculty hired in the 2019-20 school year will start at the Law School in fall 2021. They are Mitu Gulati, Kim Krawiec and David Law. Look here for upcoming stories about these new faculty as well as additional faculty hiring updates as they become available.
  • The Law School is participating in the University’s new “Race, Place and Equity” interdisciplinary program, funded with a $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant subsidizes funding for a postdoctoral fellow at the Law School who focuses on research and teaching of race, justice, and equity, with the Law School providing matching funds for a second fellow.
  • Student panels are now interviewing and providing feedback on tenure-line faculty candidates, as they also do for academic general faculty and senior administrative hires.

Admissions and Student Outreach

  • The Admissions Office has expanded its efforts to recruit a diverse class of students, including increased attendance at HBCU pre-law conferences, networking events in partnership with pipeline programs, undergraduate affinity group panels and other virtual events aimed at recruiting candidates historically underrepresented in law schools and the legal profession.
  • The Admissions team has collaborated with law student affinity groups to expand its outreach to prospective and admitted students.
  • The Law School is developing a pipeline program for talented college students who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the legal profession. The pipeline program is scheduled to launch in summer 2022.
  • The Law School has raised an additional $500,000 for the Elaine R. Jones ’70 Scholarship fund since its launch in summer 2020, as well as funds for additional scholarships that foster diversity and support students interested in careers in racial justice.

Structured Opportunities for Learning and Discussion

Clinical and Scholarly Contributions to Racial Justice

New Digital Resources

Alumni Relations and Fundraising

  • The Law School Foundation has expanded its programming targeted to diverse alumni, including our inaugural BLSA Law Alumni Weekend programming during our virtual reunions in May 2021, and a Black UVA Law Alumni virtual event in March 2021.
  • The Foundation has also prioritized fundraising for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as part of our ongoing capital campaign. Some recent examples include the Carlos M. Brown ’90 and Tamara A. Charity-Brown, M.D., Bicentennial Scholarship and the F. Blair Wimbush Bicentennial Scholarship.

Historic Landscape and Representation

  • The Law School has commissioned a portrait of Elaine Jones ’70 in honor of the 50th anniversary of her graduation. When completed, it will hang in Clay Hall alongside portraits of UVA and UVA Law’s first Black student, Gregory H. Swanson ’51; the Virginia Supreme Court’s first Black justice, John Charles Thomas ’75; the Law School’s first female graduate, Elizabeth Tompkins ’23; and recent deans of the Law School.
  • In August 2020, an ad hoc committee recommended removing Henry Malcolm Withers’ name from the Law School’s Withers-Brown Hall. Dean Risa Goluboff adopted their recommendation and requested that the University rename the building. University President James Ryan ’92 and the Board of Visitors approved the request in September 2020. The building is currently known as Brown Hall.