Latest Voting Rights Institute to Train New Generation of Voting Rights Lawyers in Chicago


On May 7, 2015, the Voting Rights Institute, a joint project of the Campaign Legal Center and American Constitution Society (ACS), will conduct the next voting rights training session in Chicago, Illinois.  The ongoing Institute training sessions are helping to help meet the critical need for a new generation of voting rights lawyers, experts, and community activists. At the session, being held at the Chicago offices of Jenner & Block, practitioners and law students will learn the ‘ins and outs’ of protecting the right to vote through the enforcement of voting rights laws.  A particular focus of the training will be cases brought to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution.  The training program will feature a panel of instructors with decades of experience in the field of voting rights.

“The Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision in 2013 gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act creating a huge need for additional voting rights litigators to contest the laws designed to restrict and burden voting rights subsequently passed in states and municipalities,” said J. Gerald Hebert, Executive Director of the Campaign Legal Center.  “A new generation of voting rights litigators and advocates is desperately needed and the Voting Rights Institute is working around the country to meet that need with seasoned voting rights litigators offering instruction in defending the franchise.  Voting rights in our nation are under siege and a key fight to save them will be waged in the courts.” 

Experts in the field will provide background on the Voting Rights Act and relevant federal court cases to participants and will then focus on their experiences in voting rights cases.  Campaign Legal Center Executive Director, J. Gerald Hebert, will serve as lead instructor and will be joined by several veteran voting rights litigators and advocates.

In addition to Mr. Hebert, the Institute’s faculty will include: Paul M. Smith (Partner, Jenner & Block), Dale Ho, Director (Voting Rights Project, ACLU), and Jessica Ring Amunson (Partner, Jenner & Block).

Financial support for the Voting Rights Institute has been received from the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund (, Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund.

For more details on the timing and location of the Chicago training, click here.