Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Law Review Symposium to Celebrate Fourth Circuit Judge Roger Gregory

The Washington and Lee Law Review’s annual Lara D. Gass Symposium at the Washington and Lee University School of Law will examine the judicial legacy of the Hon. Roger L. Gregory, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The symposium is scheduled for March 18-19 and will include a keynote address by Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The event, which is open to the public, will be hosted in a Zoom webinar format. Registration is required.

gregory_judge_roger_3243_crop2-250x350 Law Review Symposium to Celebrate Fourth Circuit Judge Roger GregoryJudge Roger Gregory

Judge Roger Gregory is the first African American to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. On December 27, 2000, he was placed on the Court by recess appointment of President Bill Clinton. Judge Gregory was re-nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime appointment to the Court on July 20, 2001. Judge Gregory is the only person in the history of the United States to be appointed to the United States Court of Appeals by two Presidents of different political parties.

The aim of the symposium is to examine the areas of the law that Chief Judge Gregory significantly contributed to through his jurisprudence. Topics addressed during the event will include voting rights and democracy; health care, the Affordable Care Act, and reproductive rights; criminal justice reform and antiracist jurisprudence; and the future of the federal bench. Panelists include:

  • Khiara Bridges
  • Paul Butler
  • Michele Bratcher Goodwin
  • Angela Davis
  • Gilda Daniels
  • Daniel Harawa
  • Chris Kang
  • Myrisha Lewis
  • Leah Litman
  • Dayna Matthew
  • Melissa Murray
  • Janai Nelson
  • Myrna Pérez
  • Judge Carlton Reeves
  • Bertrall Ross
  • Juval Scott
  • Fred Smith
ifill-309x350 Law Review Symposium to Celebrate Fourth Circuit Judge Roger GregorySherrilyn Ifill

Keynote speaker Sherrilyn Ifill began her career as a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, before joining the staff of the LDF as an Assistant Counsel in 1988, where she litigated voting rights cases for five years. She then spent two decades in legal academia as law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. In 2013, Ifill was invited back to the Legal Defense Fund – this time to lead the organization as its 7th Director-Counsel.

In 2020, Ifill was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year for her leadership of LDF. Glamour called Ifill an “unrelenting champion with a stellar reputation among civil rights leaders.” Ifill was also named the 2020 Attorney of the Year by The American Lawyer, and was honored with a 2021 Spirit of Excellence Award by the American Bar Association.

A full symposium schedule is available online. For questions regarding the event, contact Kitt Shamamian ‘21L at shamamian.l21@law.wlu.edu.

The Lara D. Gass Symposium is named in honor of Lara Gass, a member of the Law Class of 2014 who passed away in an automobile accident in March of 2014. Gass served as Symposium Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, organizing the Law Review’s 2014 symposium focused on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Lara was active within the Women Law Students Organization and also served as a Kirgis Fellow, the law school’s peer mentoring group, during the 2012–2103 academic year. In January 2014, Lara received recognition for her academic achievements, her leadership abilities, her service to the law school and university community, and her character when she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.