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LDF names civil rights scholar as new director-counsel

26th November 2012   ·   0 Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has named civil rights scholar Sherrilyn Ifill as its next president and director-counsel, effective January 2013.

Ifill, named in a release last week, is a longtime member of the LDF family. Early in her career, she served as assistant counsel in LDF’s New York office where she litigated voting rights cases, including the landmark Voting Rights Act case Houston Lawyers’ Association vs. Attorney General of Texas. In 1993, Ifill joined the faculty of the University Maryland School of Law where she continued to litigate and consult on a broad and diverse range of civil rights cases while grooming the next generation of civil rights lawyers.

A critically acclaimed author, her book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” reflects her lifelong engagement in and analysis of issues of race and American public life, the release states. She is a respected civil rights strategist who provides regular political commentary on both national and local television and radio programs particularly during Supreme Court nomination hearings.

“It was a dream come true to serve as a lawyer at LDF years ago, and it is a high honor to return to this premiere institution as President and Director Counsel,” Ifill said in a statement.

“Sherrilyn Ifill brings to this position her visionary leadership, keen intellect, an unwavering commitment to social justice and a deep understanding of LDF’s legacy,” states David W. Mills, Co-Chair of LDF’s board of directors, in a release.

According to a biography released by the LDF: Sherrilyn Ifill is a professor of law at the University Of Maryland Francis King Carey School Of Law and a civil rights lawyer who specializes in voting rights and political participation. She served as former assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.,

In addition to teaching in the classroom, Ifill launched several innovative legal clinics while at Maryland Law School, including an environmental justice clinic, and one of the first legal clinics in the nation focused on the legal rights of ex-offenders. She is also an active and respected civil leader in the city of Baltimore and for the past two years has served as the Chair of the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Foundations.

This article was originally published in the November 26, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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