The second annual Shaping Justice conference, aimed at inspiring students and lawyers to promote justice through public service, will take place Feb. 2-3 at the University of Virginia School of Law.

This year's conference, called "Shaping Justice in an Age of Uncertainty," will feature keynote speaker Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy, enlists the private bar’s resources and leadership to fight inequality. Clarke will speak at 6 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion.

Other events include networking opportunities, workshops and panels on topics such as voting rights,  environmental racism, artificial intelligence and the criminal justice system, and protecting the rights of vulnerable populations. Several alumni will be honored with Shaping Justice awards at a networking lunch on Feb. 3.

The conference is sponsored by UVA Law, the Program in Law and Public Service, the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center, the student-run Public Interest Law Association and numerous other student organizations.

All conference events are open to the public with registration.

Registration has closed for this event' UVA students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend parts of the conference even if they missed the registration deadline.

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Friday, Feb. 2

1-2 p.m.


Clay Hall Lobby (in front of Caplin Pavilion)

2-2:45 p.m.

Opening Plenary

Caplin Pavilion

Surviving the Age of Uncertainty: Self-Care and Sustainable Lawyering

3-4:15 p.m.


Panel 1 The Absence of Justice for the Black Comm​unity: Where Do We Go From Here?
Sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, the Virginia Law in Prison Project and the National Lawyers Guild

  • Tiffany Graves '06, Director, Mississippi Access to Justice Commission
  • Jeree Thomas '11, Policy Director, Campaign for Youth Justice
  • April Goggans, Core Organizer for Black Lives Matter DC and Founder of #KeepDC4Me
  • Fatima Mann, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Counterbalance: ATX

Panel 2 Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Future of Criminal Justice
Sponsored by Law, Innovation, Security and Technology

  • Moderator: John Monahan, John S. Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law; Joel B. Piassick Research Professor of Law; Professor of Psychology; Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia
  • Andrew Selbst, Postdoctoral Scholar at Data & Society Research Institute and Visiting Fellow at the Yale Information Society Project
  • Chris Slobogin, Director, Vanderbilt Law School Criminal Justice Program, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University
  • Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Associate Professor, University of Utah

4:30-5:45 p.m.


Panel 3 (RJ2): The Intersection of Reproductive and Racial Justice Lawyering
Sponsored by If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice at UVA Law, the Domestic Violence Project, and Child Advocacy Research and Education

  • Sequoia Ayala, Policy Counsel and Program Manager, SisterLove Inc.
  • Tannia Esparza, Executive Director, Young Women United
  • Jill C. Morrison, Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Executive Director, Women's Law & Public Policy Fellowship; Executive Director, Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Program
  • Cherisse Scott, CEO and Founder of SisterReach

Panel 4 | Environmental Racism on a Warming Planet: From “Climate Refugees” to the “War on Coal”
Sponsored by the Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic, the Virginia Environmental Law Forum and the Virginia Environmental Law Journal

  • Moderator: Cale Jaffe '01, Director, Environmental and Regulatory Law Clinic, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Tom Cormons, Executive Director of Appalachian Voices
  • Marily Nixon '93, Professor of Practice, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program

6 p.m.

Keynote Address

The State of Civil Rights Today and the Modern-Day Resistance Movement

Caplin Pavilion

  • Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Introduction by Vice Dean Leslie Kendrick '06

7-9 p.m.


Caplin Pavilion and Clay Hall

Saturday, Feb. 3

9:30-10 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

Caplin Pavilion

10-11:15 a.m.


Panel 5 | Violence Against Trans People of Color: Legal Perspectives and Solutions
Sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, Lambda Law Alliance and the Latin American Law Organization

  • Charley Burton, Board Member, PFLAG and Black Transmen Inc.
  • Adeola Ogunkeyede, Legal Director, Legal Aid Justice Center
  • Isa Noyola, Deputy Director, Transgender Law Center

Panel 6 | Defending and Expanding Voting Rights
Sponsored by the American Constitution Society

  • Moderator: Ryan Snow '19
  • Danielle Lang, Senior Legal Counsel, Campaign Legal Center
  • Catherine Meza, Senior Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Navigating Law School With Your Values and Spirit Intact

  • Presenter: Maggie Ellinger-Locke, DC National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Chair

The Firm Lawyer's Social Justice Toolkit

  • Presenter: Allison Holt, Senior Associate, Hogan Lovells

Free CLE: Ethics (for attorneys)

12:30-2 p.m.

Networking Lunch and Awards Ceremony



2-3 p.m.

Closing Plenary


Legal Observer Training

  • Jill Humphries, Senior Legal Observer, National Lawyers Guild NYC; National Lawyers Guild National Legal Observer trainer
  • Maggie Ellinger-Locke, DC National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Chair

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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