Black Law Students Association Presents Annual Symposium on Race and the Law on Feb. 25

William & Mary Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) will host its annual symposium on Race and the Law in the Sadler Center’s Tidewater Room on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6pm. This year's theme, “Systematic Suppression,” aims to candidly address two hot-button topics: Mass Incarceration and Voter Disenfranchisement.


  • Opening Remarks by William & Mary BLSA; Todd Mooradian, Associate Dean and Professor at Mason School of Business; Vivian Hamilton, Law School Professor and BLSA Faculty Advisor (6:00pm)
  • Mass Incarceration Session (moderated by Jamira Burley). This session covers mandatory minimum sentences, clemency on the federal and state levels, non-violent drug offenders with lengthy/life sentences, racial disparities in sentencing, and the effects of mass incarceration on minority groups and women. (6:15-7:15pm)
  • Voter Disenfranchisement Session (moderated by Jamira Burley). This session covers modern methods of voter suppression including strict voter ID laws, limits on same-day registration, early voting elimination, redistricting, gerrymandering, and the disenfranchisement of convicted felons. (7:30-8:30pm)

A reception at 8:45pm, with opening remarks by Dean Davison M. Douglas, will follow the panel discussion, allowing the audience to directly interact with the panelists.

Panelists include:

David Baugh: Criminal Defense and Civil Rights Attorney
Jamira Burley: Senior Campaigner, Amnesty International
Andrea James: Founder, Families for Justice as Healing
Nicole Porter: Advocacy Director, The Sentencing Project
William C. Smith: Maryland House of Delegates
Levar Stoney: Secretary of the Commonwealth (Virginia)
Kim Tignor: Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law

The program is made possible by a grant from the Diversity Endowment through the Office of Equal Opportunity. The Election Law Society, Revive My Vote, The Center for Student Diversity, The Lemon Project, and The Mason School of Business are co-sponsoring the event.

About BLSA

The W.C. Jefferson Chapter of BLSA at William & Mary follows the goals of the National Black Law Students Association, and works hard to serve as an academic and social resource for law students, while also providing professional development and networking opportunities to prepare students for a long and successful career in law.

About William & Mary Law School

Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.