Professor Jayne Barnard Elected to Presidency of ACLU of Virginia

  • Professor Jayne Barnard
    Professor Jayne Barnard  Jayne Barnard has spent more than 30 years working with the ACLU on civil rights issues.  
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William & Mary Law School Professor Jayne Barnard was elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia on September 17, 2010.  Her ascension to the Presidency is the culmination of a 30-year commitment to the ACLU and civil rights. 

Barnard is the James Goold Cutler Professor of Law and the Herbert V. Kelly, Sr., Professor of Teaching Excellence.  She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Illinois.  She has written extensively about white-collar crime, securities regulation, corporate finance, and behavioral economics.  Barnard was the first to propose that people harmed by economic crimes should be able to present victim-impact testimony (also known as victim allocution) at sentencing hearings.  Her work was instrumental in Congress ultimately passing the Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004, which allowed victims of Bernie Madoff, for example, to offer victim impact statements prior to his sentencing.

As President of the ACLU of Virginia, Barnard will keep track of its litigation function, steer policy development, navigate financial concerns, encourage public education, enhance legislative advocacy and develop the chapter’s relationship with the national ACLU.  “The ACLU of Virginia is extremely fortunate to have someone with Jayne's exceptional capabilities at the helm,” says Kent Willis, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia.  “She possesses that combination of organizational expertise, commitment to cause, and legal insight that defines a successful ACLU leader.  Jayne is passionate about civil liberties, civil rights and the rule of law, making her a perfect fit with the ACLU.  Having served in a number of leadership roles at the ACLU of Virginia, most recently chairing the committee that selects cases for litigation, this was a natural next step.”

Barnard says she is grateful for the opportunity to lead the ACLU of Virginia into its next era.  One of her primary focuses will be nurturing the future leadership of the organization.   “The ACLU of Virginia has more than 10,000 members,” she notes.  “We are working hard with our student chapters and young professionals to impress upon them the importance of the work the ACLU does to keep our Constitution strong and our people free from unwarranted intrusion into their lives.  We actively welcome the interest and participation of young lawyers – and non-lawyers – in our programs and leadership groups.”